A report into local government procurement fraud by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government found 23% of 86 councils experienced fraud or corruption in 2017-18, but said this was likely to be the tip of the iceberg. The report estimated local authority fraud losses at between £275m and £2.75bn each year, but also referred to National Fraud Authority research from 2013 that put the figure at £876m. It said councils spent around £55bn a year on goods, works and services. The report puts much of the fraud losses down to weaknesses in contract management making councils vulnerable. John Penrose, the government’s anti-corruption champion, said the coronavirus outbreak had “increased opportunities for criminals to defraud taxpayers everywhere.” Supply Management has the full story.

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