With the construction sector already fighting the highest levels of late payments of any industry in the United Kingdom, research shows that procurement fraud is also costing construction companies billions of pounds. The recent PKF Annual Fraud Indicator (2016) report puts total fraud losses to the UK at a staggering £193 billion. Couple this with evidence that fraud is costing SME’s in the construction industry around £2 billion and it is clear that now, more than ever, contractors have to take steps to protect themselves.
Authorities can tackle some of the issues which lead to fraud in the sector: they can examine key data containing employee and contractor addresses; bank accounts can be analysed to highlight suspicious links, while reverse online auctions can be used to drive down prices, provide audit trails and foil rigged bids. But there are simple, free online tools that SMEs can access to help combat fraud too.
David Stapleton, CEO and founder of the free procurement and collaboration platform TenderSpace points out that by taking a few easy steps, contractors can gain more insight into who they work with, and enhance their reputation at the same time.
“By running a credit risk report on your supply chain partners, you can check their payment history and negate the risk of fraud and late payment.
“Specifiers also want to work with contractors who can show their qualifications and trustworthiness for jobs too. Prequalification documents can take time to fill in, but easy to use technology like TenderSpace can help with all of these issues and make collaborating easier – and safer.”