Economic Crime Fraud on the Rise in Public Sector

Economy is placing public sector at risk for fraud.

Economy is placing public sector at risk for fraud.

Today Accountant PricewaterhouseCoopers released a report that warned the economy has put the UK Public Sector in a vulnerable position for fraud risk.  The PWC’s report, Fraud in the Public Sector, surveyed 170 state-owned organisations in 35 countries including 44 in the UK.  Out of the UK respondents more than half, 52 per cent, said they had suffered economic crime in the last year.  The global average is just 32 per cent.

Of those that reported crime, 80 per cent had mis-appropriation of company assets and four of every 10 reported financial statement fraud.  A majority also reported they thought economic crime in their own company had risen in the past year.

PWC’s report stated that economic crime is on the rise and it is liable to worsen as employees worry about their pay and their jobs.  The economic situation will make people react out of desperation and the crime can come from any level.

Richard Neave, Forensics Director for PWC Scotland, said: “Organisations need to act now and ensure they have regular reviews and the right fraud policies in place.

“With cuts threatening the pace of recovery in Scotland and a looming public sector recession we cannot ignore the fact that these pressures will be felt sharply in the coming years.”

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