Error, evasion and fraud is an increasing preoccupation for social security institutions worldwide. At the World Social Security Forum, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) launched a completely new set of guidelines, proposing an integrated approach on these issues. In addition, the ISSA has revised eight of its existing sets of guidelines on social security administration.
Social security depends on trust in the system and each scheme. Error, evasion and fraud erodes this trust, and is therefore an issue that all social security institutions need to deal with effectively. Even small cases can become highly political, as they may be perceived as indications of bigger challenges. In an era of increasing transparency and growing public expectations, social security institutions are seeking ways to improve their strategies in this field.
“We take this issue very seriously. Building on the knowledge and experiences of our members, the ISSA has developed guidelines to advance the global fight against error, evasion and fraud in social security systems”, said Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano, Secretary General of the ISSA.
Offering an integrated approach
While error, evasion and fraud is not a new topic for social security institutions, the ISSA worked with its global membership to identify the most efficient ways of dealing with the issue, whether it is to prevent it starting or to fight its ongoing existence. A key observation was that these issues were traditionally tackled in a fragmented way. Each social security branch and administrator of a benefit scheme would deal with it separately and often unsystematically.
The new ISSA Guidelines propose that error, evasion and fraud needs to be dealt with through an integrated and holistic approach. Different functions and areas of a social security institution, and even between institutions, need to work systematically together to prevent, detect and fight errors and fraudulent behaviour, whether it is from the side of the institutions or the beneficiaries.
Big step forward
The ISSA Guidelines on Error, Evasion and Fraud in Social Security Systems represent the next step in providing a comprehensive menu of guidelines, covering all the key areas of social security administration. The launch was complemented by an important update of eight of the already existing 12 other sets of ISSA Guidelines on Contribution Collection and Compliance, Information and Communication Technology, Investment of Social Security Funds, Prevention of Occupational Risks, Return to Work and Reintegration, Service Quality, Workplace Health Promotion, and Good Governance.
A notable development in the updated guidelines is the inclusion of branch perspectives into cross-cutting guidelines, such as on Good Governance, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) or Service Quality. The ICT Guidelines now include specific chapters on e-health and business processes taking into consideration the different branches.