UK renews local government fraud prevention strategy as procurement losses increase
Press Release | 18th August 2016
Reading, UK – 18 August 2016: The UK has renewed its local government fraud prevention strategy, last updated in 2011, as it looks to counter the £2.1 billion of losses incurred annually, with procurement fraud the biggest culprit.
Local government lost an estimated £876 million to procurement fraud in 2013 according to the now defunct National Fraud Authorities Annual Fraud Indicator, but the scale of the problem is likely much larger. A separate Annual Fraud Indicator report by the University of Portsmouth in conjunction with several fraud experts estimates this figure at closer to five times that cost, or around £4.1 billion in the 2013/2014 financial year.
The UK Government’s recently published fraud and corruption 2016-2019 strategy recognises the scale of the problem and sets out several actions local and regional government authorities should take to limit losses through fraud. These include the effective use of dwindling resources, collaboration with other councils, and making use of technology to detect and prevent fraud.
Some councils have already turned to technology to assist in dealing with the problem of fraud. The London Borough of Bexley found that fraudsters were using publicly available information to impersonate suppliers, submitting fake invoices with alternate bank details. Detecting the fraudulent invoices relied on spotting the difference and cross-checking the bank details held on file, which was time-consuming and easily missed.
Having implemented electronic invoicing, the council then turned to FISCAL Technologies’, the world-leading provider of accounts payable forensic software, to detect overpayments and alert the council to potentially fraudulent activity. “In the past year we’ve prevented £100,000 of fraudulent activity” Bexley Council payments manager Bel Temel said.
FISCAL Chief Executive David Griffiths said: “The complexity of the purchase-to-pay function and the increasingly elaborate schemes perpetrated by tech-savvy fraudsters, makes detection progressively more difficult. We are working closely with Bexley Council and over 80 other public sector authorities to combat fraud and protect their procurement spend”
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About FISCAL Technologies:
FISCAL Technologies is the leading provider of forensic solutions that empower purchase-to-pay teams across the globe to protect organisational spend.
Incorporating unique technology to reduce risk in the supply chain, FISCAL solutions are used on a continuous, preventative basis to protect supplier spend, defend against fraud, increase profitability and drive process improvement.
Since 2003, FISCAL has safeguarded hundreds of millions of payments and is now relied on by over 250 leading organisations.
For more information, please visit www.fiscaltec.co.uk.
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