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Public procurement fraud hits £2.3bn in 2011
The government has pledged to do more to tackle the problem of procurement fraud, following a report showing that these crimes cost the public sector £2.3 billion last year.
Figures from the Home Office show that instances of price-fixing, bid rigging, false invoicing, overpayment and substitution of below-par products are responsible for this trend, with the offence proving hard to detect.
Almost one in ten public sector workers polled said their organisation had suffered at least one instance of procurement fraud in the last year, while more than two-fifths believe it poses a major threat.
The study also suggested that this problem could be addressed through better accountability and transparency, as well as improved auditing and training standards.
Minister for crime and security James Brokenshire said: "Ripping off the taxpayer will simply not be tolerated. The government's strategy to reduce fraud is already producing results."
This comes at a time when the Cabinet Office is seeking to open up public procurement to a wider range of suppliers, a move that will benefit small to medium-sized businesses in particular.
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