US federal and local government agencies have become more susceptible to fraud during the pandemic, survey finds

WASHINGTON and ALEXANDRIA, Va., September 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Agencies at all levels of government have become more vulnerable to fraud since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic and are alarmingly lacking the budgets or talent needed to tackle growing criminals. sophisticated. These are the key findings of a new survey and accompanying report jointly released today by Guidehouse, one of the world’s leading providers of advisory services to public sector and business clients, and the Association of Government Accountants (AGA ), the member organization for finance professionals in government. .

The survey of 308 government professionals, conducted in the spring of 2021, outlines fraud trends and recommendations for improvement. In a finding that should concern both public finance professionals and taxpayers, 53% of respondents indicated that the risk of fraud has increased since the start of the pandemic.

“This survey illustrates the importance of people, processes and technology working together to prevent and detect fraud in government agencies. In their responses, agencies indicated that they had significant resource constraints and may not not be able to adopt anti-fraud technologies in a timely manner,” added Ellen Zimile, partner and leader of the financial services segment at Guidehouse. “Agencies are trying to find the right balance to successfully manage a fraud risk management program.”

Fraud attempts and abuse are most prevalent in benefit payments, payroll, and vendor purchases of personal protective equipment; however, according to government entities, actual cases of fraud most often occur as a result of security breaches and misrepresentations of facts. Suppliers in particular are a sore spot, with fraudulent supplier payments cited by 89% of respondents as a source of risk.

“As our public sector clients grapple with the changing fraud landscape, Guidehouse felt it was important to bring insightful and actionable data and solutions to fraud practitioners through investigation. on the 2021 AGA fraud,” said Caitlin McGurnpartner of the Financial Services practice.

Although it is widely recognized that governments are challenged in their efforts to combat fraud, professionals have reported a lack of resources needed to do their job. Seventy percent indicate that resource constraints are the biggest challenge in combating fraud, and more than a third of respondents have not implemented any technological solution to address the threat.

Beyond resources, government agencies remain siled and rarely collaborate to combat fraud threats. Almost half of respondents (47%) highlighted the lack of cooperation between groups within their agencies as one of the main obstacles to effective fraud prevention and detection.

“While government agencies can leverage various technologies in the war on fraud, technology itself is not a silver bullet. With growing and more sophisticated fraud risks resulting from the pandemic, agencies should seize this opportunity to re-examine their fraud prevention and detection programs,” said AGA CEO Anne Ebberts. “We teamed up with Guidehouse to examine how agencies prioritize emerging risks, learn more about their biggest challenges, and find out how they’re fighting fraud today and where they’ll be focusing for the foreseeable future.”

Those interested in exploring the full survey results and recommendations to combat fraud can visit:

About Guidehouse
Guidehouse is a leading global provider of advisory services to the public sector and commercial markets, with extensive risk management, technology and advisory capabilities. We help our clients meet their complex challenges and overcome significant regulatory pressures by focusing on transformational change, business resilience and technology-driven innovation. Through a range of consulting, advisory, outsourcing and digital services, we create scalable and innovative solutions that prepare our clients for future growth and success. The company has more than 10,000 professionals in more than 50 locations worldwide. Guidehouse is a Veritas Capital portfolio company, led by seasoned professionals with proven and diverse expertise in traditional and emerging technologies, markets and agenda issues that drive national and global economies. For more information, visit

About the AGM

The AGA is the member organization for government finance professionals. We lead and encourage change that benefits our field and all citizens. Our networking events, professional certifications, publications and continuing education help members develop their skills and advance their careers. For more information, visit

Press contacts:

For Guidehouse:

Ryan Dicovitsky
Dukas Linden Public Relations
[email protected]

For AGA:

Erin Birmingham
[email protected]

SOURCE Guidehouse LLP

Related links

Ashley C. Reynolds