David White started as the office junior 44 years ago

Darlington and Stockton Times: David White David White

A HUMBLE office junior from Middlesbrough who rose to the ranks of the country’s top benefit fraud investigator has been awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours.

David White, the head of the Fraud Investigation Service at the Department for Work and Pensions, started as the most junior worker in the Teesside office 44 years ago.

He built his career until seven years ago he was appointed as the head of fraud investigation for England, Wales and Scotland at the DWP. Since then the service has halved benefit fraud, saving the public purse about half a billion pounds a year.

Despite being a senior civil servant 62-year-old Mr White chooses to work from the DWP’s Stockton office, making the journey to London via train as and when he needs to.

The grandfather-of-two, who is originally from South Bank, Teesside, said: “I have been counting down the days until I can tell people – Christmas was nothing compared to the excitement of this.

“I think the key to cutting down on benefit fraud has been all of us getting the message out to people that they will be caught if they cheat the system, and they face prison and having to pay back a lot of money. That has been how we have been successful.”

He said he had some fantastic opportunities for foreign travel in his job, going to Poland, Spain, Ireland and the Netherlands for conferences.

“They all want to know how we are doing it,” he said. “We are being held up as an example and they all want to know how we have been so successful at cutting down on fraud.”

Comments (7)

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9:12am Tue 31 Dec 13

onlinereader says...

Let's face it, he would have the opportunity to get plenty of experience living in this region.
Let's face it, he would have the opportunity to get plenty of experience living in this region. onlinereader

9:39am Tue 31 Dec 13

craiggraham says...

Soliders get killed every day abroad and this ponce gets an award?????
Soliders get killed every day abroad and this ponce gets an award????? craiggraham

11:21am Tue 31 Dec 13

settheworldonfire says...

craiggraham wrote:
Soliders get killed every day abroad and this ponce gets an award?????
well said...plus all the governments cronies awarded again for doing f .alll
[quote][p][bold]craiggraham[/bold] wrote: Soliders get killed every day abroad and this ponce gets an award?????[/p][/quote]well said...plus all the governments cronies awarded again for doing f .alll settheworldonfire

3:15pm Tue 31 Dec 13

roaduser98 says...

They all want to know how we are doing it,” he said. “We are being held up as an example and they all want to know how we have been so successful at cutting down on fraud.”
How did you do it then Dave? Maybe the department should take notes on how to ensure that tax payers money is only given to genuine claimants.
Foreign travel to conferences? Whats going on here? Still its only tax payers money!
They all want to know how we are doing it,” he said. “We are being held up as an example and they all want to know how we have been so successful at cutting down on fraud.” How did you do it then Dave? Maybe the department should take notes on how to ensure that tax payers money is only given to genuine claimants. Foreign travel to conferences? Whats going on here? Still its only tax payers money! roaduser98

5:09pm Tue 31 Dec 13

stone-rose says...

A bet he s not missed at South Bank
A bet he s not missed at South Bank stone-rose

8:53pm Tue 31 Dec 13

smiler03 says...

Congratulations to David White, well deserved.

Mr White and the DWP have helped save the taxpayer about half a billion pounds a year from benefit fraud. This being one of the most publicised frauds taking place, great work indeed.

Sadly there are a few unsavoury facts about benefits which the government do not publicise, from the Guardian, 3rd Feb 2013:

"The British public believe benefit fraud is a big problem. A recent poll by the TUC showed people believe 27% of the welfare budget is fraudulently claimed. The reality is very different. Last year, 0.7% of total benefit expenditure was overpaid due to fraud. "Indeed, welfare fraud is smaller than accidental overpayments due to error, which totalled £2.2bn (£1.4bn of which due to official error). It's also smaller than the amount of money underpaid to those entitled to it: £1.3bn.".

So the government actually underpays benefits more than the cost of fraud. So who is the bigger fraudster here, the government or criminals?

"Indeed, welfare fraud is smaller than accidental overpayments due to error, which totalled £2.2bn (£1.4bn of which due to official error). It's also smaller than the amount of money underpaid to those entitled to it: £1.3bn. In other words, if we wiped out benefit fraud tomorrow – but also eliminated the errors that deprive people of money to which they are entitled – the welfare bill would grow, not shrink."

So please HMG, get more people like David White in positions where positive results are achieved, even if that means the "right thing is done".

Of course there is tax avoidance and non payment, an estimated £35 billion last year and then there's tax evasion, put at anywhere between £30 billion and £400 billion last year.

If more David Whites could halve those losses, the tax rate could fall to 5% or less and maybe pay pensioners more?

Tough target for the government though, their cronies and themselves.
Congratulations to David White, well deserved. Mr White and the DWP have helped save the taxpayer about half a billion pounds a year from benefit fraud. This being one of the most publicised frauds taking place, great work indeed. Sadly there are a few unsavoury facts about benefits which the government do not publicise, from the Guardian, 3rd Feb 2013: "The British public believe benefit fraud is a big problem. A recent poll by the TUC showed people believe 27% of the welfare budget is fraudulently claimed. The reality is very different. Last year, 0.7% of total benefit expenditure was overpaid due to fraud. "Indeed, welfare fraud is smaller than accidental overpayments due to error, which totalled £2.2bn (£1.4bn of which due to official error). It's also smaller than the amount of money underpaid to those entitled to it: £1.3bn.". So the government actually underpays benefits more than the cost of fraud. So who is the bigger fraudster here, the government or criminals? "Indeed, welfare fraud is smaller than accidental overpayments due to error, which totalled £2.2bn (£1.4bn of which due to official error). It's also smaller than the amount of money underpaid to those entitled to it: £1.3bn. In other words, if we wiped out benefit fraud tomorrow – but also eliminated the errors that deprive people of money to which they are entitled – the welfare bill would grow, not shrink." So please HMG, get more people like David White in positions where positive results are achieved, even if that means the "right thing is done". Of course there is tax avoidance and non payment, an estimated £35 billion last year and then there's tax evasion, put at anywhere between £30 billion and £400 billion last year. If more David Whites could halve those losses, the tax rate could fall to 5% or less and maybe pay pensioners more? Tough target for the government though, their cronies and themselves. smiler03

9:48am Thu 2 Jan 14

Gredenko says...

This is ironic ..... or is it moronic ...... from a guy that worked for an organisation where the National Audit Office has refused to sign off its accounts for the 15th year running ........... he has no more idea about what he has saved the tax payer that I have of flying to the moon.
This is ironic ..... or is it moronic ...... from a guy that worked for an organisation where the National Audit Office has refused to sign off its accounts for the 15th year running ........... he has no more idea about what he has saved the tax payer that I have of flying to the moon. Gredenko

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