RC: Could you provide an overview of the type of fraud, waste and abuse issues that potentially face federal government organisations? Is the government sector doing enough to proactively combat these issues, in your view?

Buckley: Government programmes and operations are susceptible to a wide variety of schemes and criminal activity that, if left unchecked, can seriously undermine the public’s confidence in their government. Taxpayers rightly demand that public officials wisely safeguard and use the money and power entrusted to government. Social benefit programmes, such as healthcare, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act programmes, Medicaid in the US, social security, and government loan and grant programmes, are all susceptible to false claims fraud. And, while individual acts of fraud against these programmes is criminal, organised fraud adds up to huge losses rather quickly. Government investigators are largely in a reactive mode, chasing the money and the fraudsters after the fact. In my view, governments need to do a much better job in protecting the integrity of these programmes by stopping the frauds before the money leaves the account, and certainly before they become widespread and organised. Too many programmes are hamstrung by antiquated information technology solutions, but as systems are modernised, they need to include sophisticated data analytics that can enable better detection and fraud prevention controls.

Jul-Sep 2015 Issue