COUNTERING FRAUD AND CORRUPTION
The Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy has published a framework to help public bodies respond to fraud and corruption. It is estimated that the public and private sectors together loose some 16 billion pounds through fraud every year. The guide has been produced in collaboration with the NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service and the Audit Commission.
Financial crime is often complex and those perpetrating fraud are becoming increasingly professional and well organised. The Government’s Fraud Review Report has recommended a holistic approach to tackling this problem. The professional framework described in the guide takes a similar approach and outlines the essential action needed to be effective. It helps organisations to understand the often-bewildering world of fraud and corruption. It also asks pertinent questions, the answers to which will help organisations establish relevant firm foundations of an anti-fraud framework.
Commenting on the publication of the guide, Alex Plavsic, fraud investigations partner at KPMG Forensic, said: “Fraud perpetrated against government and public institutions is a big issue. KPMG’s Fraud Barometer found that, in the first half of 2006, a third of all fraud was committed against Government bodies at a value of over 200m pounds.
The guide contains the key challenges that public organisations should be posing themselves, and these apply equally to the private sector as well. Typically, they include identifying the nature and scale of fraud losses and risks facing the organisation, working out a proportionate anti-fraud response, training staff adequately, and having a consistent sanctioning policy. The quickest way for a fraud approach to lose credibility is the perception that senior managers are treated leniently. He added that: “It is good to see the profile of fraud issues in the public sector being raised through initiatives of this sort, particularly against the background of the Government’s current Fraud Review.”