Fighting social security fraud in Northern Africa

Fighting social security fraud in Northern Africa

The International Social Security Association (ISSA) organized a technical seminar together with the Liaison Office for North Africa, focussing on preventing social security evasion and fraud, and strengthening contribution, collection and compliance in the region. 

The event was hosted by the Algerian ISSA member institutions and gathered 72 participants from 17 organizations from 8 countries across North Africa, Arab countries in the Middle East, and one sub‑Saharan country, which were invited to participate.

The Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security of Algeria, Faycel Bentaleb, contributed to the meeting, and in his opening speech thanked the ISSA for organizing such important discussions. ISSA Secretary General Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano thanked the Algerian hosts and the regional liaison office, noting that by building networks for sharing experiences and good practices we can more easily build strong and resilient social security institutions and systems.

Some of the key insights from the technical seminar included:

  • Unified strategy for collection and anti-fraud measures: robust strategies for fighting fraud and for strong contribution collection and compliance systems are crucial for the financial and social sustainability of social security systems.
  • Innovations in North Africa and the Arab countries: social security administrations in these regions have made notable strides in adopting modern tools and approaches for collection management and anti-evasion efforts, including risk mapping, leveraging Big Data and Data Mining techniques, utilizing biometric cards and implementing electronic payment systems.
  • Digitalization and automation: participants emphasized the importance of digitalizing and automating collection procedures to enhance efficiency and reduce vulnerabilities to fraud.
  • Communication and awareness: all participating institutions recognized the pivotal role of communication, awareness campaigns and fostering a strong social security culture.
  • Continuous training and ethical guidelines: establishing ethical guidelines and ongoing staff training are essential components of successful implementation.
  • ISSA Guidelines: the adoption and implementation of ISSA Guidelines in the areas of fighting fraud and strengthening contribution collection and compliance can play a crucial role.

Additionally, a meeting of the Steering Committee of the ISSA Liaison Office for North Africa was held in conjunction to the technical seminar to review its activities and discuss its work plan for the remainder of the 2023–2025 triennium.