Nearly half of B.C.'s ministries have been affected by fraud, mostly theft: auditor

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VICTORIA — A new report by British Columbia's auditor general says almost half of the government's ministries have been affected by some type of fraud between 2021 and 2022, most commonly theft.

Michael Pickup says his results suggest not all ministries are following the same approach for managing risk or they don't have a full understanding of the government-wide framework for managing fraud.

Pickup's office sent questionnaires to 22 ministries last September to gauge the impact of fraud and efforts to manage the risk.

The results found that of the 45 per cent of ministries affected by at least one type of fraud, the most common cases were physical theft at 36 per cent and vendor, supplier or procurement fraud at 14 per cent.

The report says four of the ministries don't have policies and procedures to respond to potential fraud when it is detected.

In March, Pickup released the results of a similar survey of 23 public bodies — including the B.C. Lottery Corp., the University of British Columbia and the Insurance Corporation of B.C. — which showed more than half had been the victim of some form of fraud.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press