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B.C. auditor general renews calls for better fraud risk management in public bodies

More than half of public bodies had been the victim of some form of fraud in the past year
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British Columbia auditor general Michael Pickup says the province’s public institutions are susceptible to fraud, but he can’t release specifics about the theft and corruption reported to his office in a survey conducted this year.

Pickup says the survey of 23 public bodies that manage more than 85 per cent of provincial assets showed more than half had been the victim of some form of fraud in the past year.

The survey respondents included the B.C. Pavilion Corp., the B.C. Lottery Corp., Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the Insurance Corporation of B.C., several health authorities and two school districts, among others.

He says the survey results show the province’s public institutions, including Crown corporations, school boards and health authorities, all need to be aware of fraud risks and educate employees to spot potential instances.

Pickup says the most commonly reported form of fraud was theft of physical assets, with 43 per cent of respondents reporting cases in the last year.

The auditor general says the survey is meant to “promote discussion” about deterring and detecting fraud, and elected officials can dig deeper into the results to hold government accountable about specific instances.

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