13 July 2007 | Paul Snell
The NHS is to investigate how best to gain information from suppliers and contractors when investigating fraud.
New powers, granted under the Health Act 2006, allow NHS fraud and security investigators to demand documents that might contain evidence of fraud directly from suppliers, without needing the help of police. Failure to provide documents or presenting false information could lead to a two-year prison sentence or fine.
The Department of Health is now consulting with buyers, suppliers and professional bodies on the most effective way of obtaining documents.
A spokesman for the NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service (CFSMS) told supplymanagement.com these powers could be used to investigate procurement fraud. But investigations were more likely to request full financial records, rather than individual invoices and purchase orders.
Dermid McCausland, acting managing director of the NHS CFSMS, said: "We are committed to an NHS with the lowest possible fraud and the best possible security, and we believe the new powers will help achieve those aims. Specialists will be able to obtain essential information that will be invaluable to the investigations."
The consultation will run until the 4 October and submissions can be made to Emma Page at firstname.lastname@example.org.