The REC recently called on the Government to urgently address public sector and procurement fraud as figures released by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude identified that the public sector loses £21 billion from fraud, with £2.4 billion of this occurring through inadequate procurement practices.

Commenting, Gillian Econopouly Head of Policy at the REC said;

“These figures are shocking; £21 billion is a huge sum to be lost to fraud, especially in the current fiscal climate. By way of comparison, the £2.4 billion lost on procurement is more than the total spent on Accident and Emergency services.

It is critical that the Government gets a grip on this problem to prevent already strained public funds from being wasted in this way. We need a fully competitive, transparent system that demands greater accountability in the way services are delivered. Whilst we are encouraged by moves to open up the procurement process to enable greater participation by SME’s and increased transparency through the contracts finders’ website, these figures demonstrate that more must be done.”

“When making efficiency savings, the Government’s first priority should be to tackle fraud, which takes taxpayers’ money away from delivering crucial public services like the supply of nurses, doctors and social workers”.