Procurement/Supply Chain (Bribery)

In 2017, a leading fraud report estimated that procurement fraud led to losses of £121.4bn a year. In context, in 2017, the report estimated that the annual loss to fraud in the UK were £190bn, of which £140bn were fraud losses from the private sector, £40.4bn from the public sector and the balance being against others such as charities and individuals. This means that organisations have an average loss rate of 4.76% of their procurement expenditure.

Our experience of dealing with procurement and supply chain fraud has often found that processes and procedures have been improved on the procurement journey leading to award of work.

However, many failings leading to cases we have dealt with have arisen with respect to compliance and assessment of risk of those supply relationships after a contract or tender is awarded.

Procurement fraud is no longer the focus area of kickbacks for awarding of contracts, it is so much more and requires vigilance and oversight throughout relationships with suppliers.

However, with the demands on cost savings and speed of delivery, it is inevitable fraud will occur in the supply chain, be it due to the number of people involved in the purchasing process.

Examples of cases we have assisted our clients resolve are:

  • Dealing with hidden identity and connections between a contractor or agent and the party awarding the work.
  • Overcharging on invoices for supply
  • Falsifying the existence or extent of work provided and charged for (i.e. undersupply)
  • Diversion of payments
  • Non-declaration of direct or indirect conflicts of interest, for example where a change of ownership or management takes place within a supply contractor organisation
  • Sale of goods paid for by a customer to a third party for unauthorised and undeclared profits
  • Collusion to include kickbacks to enable the award of a contract for a supplier

Often when procurement or supply chain fraud is detected, an investigation is required to establish the extent of the concerns and the likely circumstances of what has taken place.

If advice is required to help assess your risk to fraud in your supply chain or if advice is needed if to help gain recovery from loss and on termination of supplier relationships, we can assist in these areas.

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