To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the susceptibility of the lasting power of attorney process to fraud.
4 July 2019
OPG are aware of 2 cases of the fraudulent creation of LPAs in the last 6 months – out of over 890,000 registered in 2018/19. We are not aware of any concerns of fraud being raised with the OPG in relation to the process of creating LPAs in the previous 5 years. Both cases have been thoroughly investigated and a lessons learned exercise conducted – part of which was an assessment of the process of registering an LPA. We have extremely good working relationships with the financial and legal sectors – and work closely with them to ensure that our processes together do all they can to eliminate fraud.
As of 31st March 2019, OPG had 3,906,416 powers of attorney and deputyship orders on its register and in the financial year 2018/19 we undertook 2,883 investigations covering a whole range of issues. This represented 0.07% of the total powers on the register. And only in 25% of those cases was there any need for court action in relation to the deputy or attorney albeit not all court applications were for removal of an attorney or deputy, some applications relate to requests for information or clarifying a person’s capacity. Where, as a result of an investigation, OPG has evidence that fraud may have taken place we will make a referral to the relevant police authority.