Investigating Procurement Fraud
Should an incident of procurement fraud come to your attention, you’ve got to handle an investigation carefully. Remember, this isn’t just a matter for your company, it’s also a legal matter.
If these red flags begin to show, or an employee commands attention by whistleblowing, it’s time to take on an investigation. This is another area in which you should team up with the HR department, as they can keep your investigation compliant.
Depending on the type of procurement fraud you suspect, your method of investigation will differ. For some, this may mean undertaking forensic financial analysis, whereas others may better suit an interview with the parties involved.
If this goes beyond your area of expertise, you can also enlist the help of an outside consultant or investigator.
These are the steps that you should take to cover all bases of your investigation:
Step 1 – Initiating the Case
This is where a complaint or a hunch goes turns into an investigation. You may have noticed red flags or rumblings within colleagues for a while, but now it’s time to put these thoughts to paper.
At this point, you want to gather additional information about the claim. For example, if a complaint has been made then you’ll want to work with the complainant confidentially to get the full scope of the issue. Probe the accuracy and specificity of the allegation, to understand their origins.
At this stage, you may find that a complaint has been lodged due to personal issues or that a simple misunderstanding is at play. Conversely, you may realise the full scope of the fraud is bigger than you considered, requiring legal action or further intervention.