The New York City Department of Investigation: Keeping an Eye out for Fraud in the Procurement of Goods and Services
Vincent E. Green and Steven A. Pasichow
Corruption has appeared throughout history in many different forms and at a multitude of levels. Some of the most damaging corruption to a governmental structure appears in the form of procurement fraud. The City of New York has had extensive experience in conducting investigations into this type of corruption. In fact, in recent years the Department of Investigation ( DOI) has increased its commitment to investigate procurement fraud. This is reflected in the evolution of its Investigative Audit Unit and the Procurement Investigations Division. These units were created in 1990 and 1992 respectively. They were established to conduct investigations in their specialized areas and when needed provide assistance and in some cases guidance to Inspector General Offices already established in DOI that have done historically an outstanding job at rooting out corruption. The ability of DOI investigators to trace financial transactions and the procurement of goods and services has added to DOI's arsenal of corruption fighting techniques, supplementing its already outstanding skills in the areas of undercover operations and surveillance.
When conducting procurement fraud investigations you'll find that in the majority of cases there is always some element of fraud in play. To be successful in this area of corruption investigations it is imperative that you have a clear understanding of the elements that make up a fraud. The following will provide you with a brief overview of the elements that make up a fraud, the types of fraud most common to corruption investigations and some examples of those frauds.