This is part of a move towards greater transparency which, the Committee argues, will help prevent, detect and correct fraud and error arising from the furlough scheme.
A new report from the Committee of Public Accounts warns that more needs to be done in order to rectify fraud and error which has occurred after the introduction of coronavirus support schemes.
Even prior to the pandemic, figures suggest fraud cost the taxpayer between £29.3 billion to £51.8 billion in 2018–19.
The Cabinet estimates that fraud constitutes almost half (40 per cent) of all crime committed across the UK.
A previous report from the Committee has suggested that there could be up to £3.5 billion of furlough payments being fraudulent or made in error, an estimated 10 per cent of all furlough claims.
In light of this, recommendations by the Committee included publishing the names of businesses who have received financial support through the COVID-19 support schemes.
This, they argue, would provide transparency and give the opportunity for whistle blowers and others to report suspicious claims, allowing HMRC to recover lost money.
This would be carried out through increased data sharing between departments which would allow for data matching. However, the body notes that this will take a substantial amount of time to establish due to data protection requirements.
Furthermore, the Committee also recommended that the Treasury work with all Departments to identify and publish all the fraud and error risks to public money across government.
As part of this, the Treasury has been asked to introduce mandatory fraud impact assessments that require formal sign off. A summary of all these assessments is also expected to be made public.
This report comes just as changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are expected to take place.
From today (1st July), employers will be expected to contribute 10 per cent towards furloughed workers’ salaries whilst the Government supplies the remaining 70 per cent.
A government spokesperson reacted to the findings of the report:
Our priority was to act at speed to protect workers and businesses, including through loans, grants, furlough and the Self-Employment Income Support scheme which have provided a lifeline to millions across the UK – helping them to survive the pandemic and protecting jobs.
These schemes were designed to minimise fraud from the outset and we have rejected or blocked thousands of fraudulent claims. We won’t tolerate those who seek to defraud taxpayers and will take action against perpetrators, including through criminal prosecution.