In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments face both old and new fraud risks, some at unprecedented levels, linked to spending on relief and recovery. Public grant programmes are a high-risk area, where any fraud ultimately diverts taxpayers’ money away from essential support for individuals and businesses. This report identifies how Spain’s General Comptroller of the State Administration (Intervención General de la Administración del Estado, IGAE) could better identify and control for grant fraud risks. It demonstrates how innovative machine learning techniques can support the IGAE in enhancing its assessment of fraud risks in grant data. It presents a working risk model, developed with datasets at the IGAE’s disposal, and maps datasets it could use in the future. The report also considers the preconditions for advanced analytics and risk assessments, including ways for the IGAE to improve its data governance and data management.
This series includes international studies and country-specific reviews of government efforts to make the public sector more efficient, effective, innovative and responsive to citizens’ needs and expectations. Publications in this series look at topics such as open government, preventing corruption and promoting integrity in the public service, risk management, illicit trade, audit institutions, and civil service reform. Country-specific reviews assess a public administration’s ability to achieve government objectives and preparedness to address current and future challenges. In analysing how a country's public administration works, reviews focus on cross-departmental co-operation, the relationships between levels of government and with citizens and businesses, innovation and quality of public services, and the impact of information technology on the work of government and its interaction with businesses and citizens.