Fraud Awareness and Indicators

The Office of Inspector General provides regular fraud awareness briefings to U.S. Government-funded program officials and implementers to deepen their understanding of fraud schemes. Last year, OIG also launched a proactive outreach program to establish relationships with USAID priority programs and implementers. Our highly skilled agents and analysts engage and partner with implementer employees to develop project profiles that identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities in each organization’s management of procurement, finance, staffing, and other activities. Through this approach, OIG learns the business models of organizations it oversees and provides immediate feedback, which encourages the reporting of fraud and leads to systemic changes where needed.

Fraud awareness briefings familiarize attendees with fraud indicators, warning signs that call for a closer look at an area or program activity. They include:

  • Procurement specifications that are so restrictive they effectively exclude competing firms.
  • Government supplies and equipment that are shipped to non-Government addresses.
  • Contractors who fail to meet contract terms but are not penalized.
  • Contract documents that are altered, backdated, or modified.

When managers, auditors, or investigators discover indicators like these, they can use lists and tools in USAID OIG’s Fraud Awareness Handbook to dig further. For fraud specific to COVID-19 response efforts, see OIG’s COVID-19 Fraud Reporting Fact Sheet.