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Public Sector Contracts: Fraud

Volume 727: debated on Thursday 2 February 2023

Last year we established the Public Sector Fraud Authority as a centre of excellence to work with Departments and public bodies to understand and reduce the impact of fraud. It does so by providing expertise and best-in-class tools to prevent and detect fraud, including in contracts. The Procurement Bill will also fight fraud through extending the grounds for exclusion and by establishing a debarment list.

The covid pandemic exposed several conflict of interest problems in public sector procurement. The Government’s Procurement Bill is an excellent opportunity to address those, but it does not pick up all the issues raised by the Government’s own independent inquiries. What will the Minister do to improve on that?

I beg to differ slightly with my right hon. Friend because, as the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office said, we are absolutely determined to ensure that the Procurement Bill is a step forward in transparency and how we handle conflicts of interest. I believe that it will help to give more reassurance on exactly that topic, but I am more than happy to meet my right hon. Friend if he has further ideas.