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Covid support schemes left ‘open goal’ to fraudsters, says watchdog

Public Accounts Committee report says business department efforts to identify fraud came after trails had ‘long ago gone cold’

The business department’s handling of Covid support schemes left an “open goal” to fraudsters and embezzlers that has added “billions to taxpayer woes”, parliament’s spending watchdog has found.

In its review of the annual report of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said it recognised that the government offered crucial support to businesses at the height of the pandemic.

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