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Thursday, July 30, 2009

How Embarrassing

In a supreme twist of irony, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the government body set up to warn consumers against unfair trading practices and fraud, has itself become victim to a £250K internal accounting fraud.

£97K went awol in 2007/08, whilst the remaining £153K went missing in 2008/09.

It seems, according to the OFT accounts, the fraud was made possible "by a control weakness in the Accounts Payable process".

The case is now subject to legal proceedings.

As an experienced forensic investigator, and internal auditor, it never ceases to amaze me how many times the purchasing function is overlooked when it come to the risk of fraud.

Kick backs from suppliers, and inflated purchase invoices are one of the many myriad of ways in which a fraudster can skim the system.

I am surprised that the internal audit department of the OFT (assuming there is one) had not identified the systems weakness.

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