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Revenue NSW using AI to claw back overpaid and fraudulent COVID-19 business grants

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Revenue NSW has turned to using AI and data analytics to help it work through compliance efforts to assess whether people were overpaid or if there were fraud cases as a result of recent COVID-19 businesses grants that were provided by the state government.

“[We’re] using a rule-based system where we can enhance irregular patterns in the data that we’re seeing and quickly move them through a modelling process into investigation for fraud and compliance,” Scott Johnston, Revenue NSW deputy secretary and State Revenue chief commissioner, told the audience at the 2021 digital.NSW event.

“A quarter of a million businesses received grants through this process. We can’t look at all of them. There’s extreme urgency to ensure that people got the money that they needed to but also to do it in the right way, and a lot of responsibility over the next six months and 12 or more will fall on us to effectively drive this this effort.”

This will not be the first time Revenue NSW has turned to AI and data analytics.

The agency has been leveraging such technology since 2018. Initially, AI was introduced to help divert customers deemed as vulnerable away from “really strong enforcement action” due to […]

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