Bungled handling of a secret government report has revealed alarming levels of fraud at the Accident Compensation Corporation scheme and in the health sector.
The publicly funded agency’s own estimates suggest more than $500 million is being lost annually to malfeasance, but less than 1 per cent of this total is being detected.
The figures are found in a draft report by the Serious Fraud Office assessing the cost of economic crime.
While the February 2013 report was never officially finalised, and the numbers were blacked out in response to an Official Information Act request from the Herald, a botch-up in the censorship process means the redacted text is easily revealed.
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The redactions show ACC estimated up to 11 per cent of its more than $2.5 billion annual spend was being misappropriated by exaggerated injuries and medical providers inventing “phantom” clients.
“Total fraud is estimated by ACC to be somewhere between 8-11 per cent of total entitlements paid,” the report said.