Grants are an important tool for the government to fulfil a policy or public interest need. For many years they’ve been effectively disbursed to businesses, charities, communities and individuals.

In 2019 to 2020 the government spent £118 billion on grants, which was 13% of total government spending.

Then the pandemic struck, and government grant making was propelled into the public consciousness through a number of new schemes such as the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.From 2020 to 2021 government grant spending rose further to £258 billion, comprised of 1,938 schemes with 200,000 awards.

With such large sums on offer, grant schemes are easily susceptible to fraud. Grant makers are under increasing pressure to identify and prevent any misuse, whilst ensuring that their funds have a positive impact.

In this paper we explore:

  • the types of fraud that government grants can attract
  • how government grant makers can identify and prevent fraud
  • the role of technology and automation in combating fraud and effectively supporting those that need financial assistance.


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