The voluntary and private sectors need to toughen up their anti-fraud measures if they are to take on greater responsibility for public funds within David Cameron’s vision of a “Big Society”, a study has claimed.
The Resilience to Fraud of UK plc report found that 54% of voluntary organisations and 25% of private sector firms did not have a counter-fraud strategy in place. This compared to only 7% of public sector groups who did not have one.
Public sector firms are also better when it comes to fraud detection, the report found. A total of 81% of public bodies have a formal detection policy in place, compared to just 58% of private and 45% of voluntary organisations.
Officials from PKF Accountants and the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies at the University of Portsmouth surveyed 376 organisations across the private, public and voluntary sectors.
Jim Gee, director of Counter Fraud Services at PKF, and chair of the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies, said: “In a previous era when charities were not held accountable to the public, this lack of resilience may have been acceptable.
“However, with greater pressure on the voluntary sector to step in where the public sector will have to draw back, charities have to protect themselves against a dishonest minority. This research shows that they are vulnerable to fraud.”