Prevent and report procurement and contract fraud

Procurement fraud is estimated to cost local councils millions of pounds each year and believed to be one of the top three fraud risk areas.

The risk of procurement fraud can be both internal and external. It can also affect any stage of the procurement cycle, which is why it is vital that any suspicious activity about a contract or tender, should be reported to us for further investigation.

Examples of procurement and contract fraud

  • Bribery and corruption –  for example, collusion with suppliers, overcharging, abuse of position
  • Bid rigging/bid splitting
  • Creation of shell companies to facilitate fraudulent payments
  • Raising false purchase order and contract variation orders
  • Unjustified single source awards
  • False invoices for products and services for suppliers who do not exist

Definitions of bribery and corruption

  • Bribery is when an inducement or reward offered, promised or provided to perform a relevant activity improperly In order to gain a personal, commercial, regulatory or contractual advantage on behalf of oneself or another.
  • Corruption is the abuse of a position of trust, in order to gain an undue advantage.

Report suspected procurement and contract fraud or bribery and corruption

You can report your suspicions directly to us:

Complete our online form to report fraud  


  • Call the fraud hotline on 01432 260698
  • Write to us at: Counter Fraud Department, Corporate Services, Plough Lane Offices, Hereford, HR4 0LE

Your referral will be taken in complete confidence and any personal information provided will be treated as strictly confidential.

Please provide us with as much detail as possible so that we can investigate the matter effectively. Where a referral does not provide us with enough detailed information about the matter, it may not be possible to investigate.

You can report fraud anonymously. However, in most cases it would help us if you leave your contact details, so that we can contact you for further information should we need it.

How we deal with fraud reports

All reports of alleged procurement & contract fraud are treated very seriously and will be investigated by the Counter Fraud Service.

Any individual that intentionally and dishonestly provides false information, will be investigated in line with the Fraud Act 2006, Bribery Act 2010 and other relevant legislation. We may also pursue prosecution, under Section 222 of the Local Government Act 1972, or to work alongside the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).