The Secretary of State for the Fight against Social Fraud, Philippe De Backer (Open Vld), has sent a letter to all Public Centres for Social Welfare (CPAS). This provides them with a point of contact to safely report social fraud, without threatening their jobs.
This is indicated today in the daily publication De Standaard.
The Flemish liberal minister makes clear that there is no obligation to report cases of social fraud. He says though that CPAS employees doing so will not suffer sanctions for breach of confidentiality.
The overall purpose of this point of contact has always been to offer citizens, businesses and organisations, the possibility to report alleged cases of social fraud to a single point of contact.
Examples include working on the black market and family benefit-related fraud.
The significance of De Backer’s announcement is that previously social workers could not, by virtue of their professional confidentiality obligations, communicate information via this means.
However, henceforth the Secretary of State’s letter allows them to do this.
As alluded to earlier, there is however no obligation to make such a report. Moreover, the Board of CPAS should always collectively agree to any potential report of such an individual by a given employee.
Mr De Backer considers, “As we are asking the CPAS Board to take a collective decision upon reporting a fraudulent individual, individual CPAS professional employee confidentiality is not under threat.” He confirms that the CPAS Board’s involvement ensures that such reporting is thereby not treated as a breach of confidentiality.