How to Use This Guide


This Guide provides step-by-step instruction on how to detect and prove corruption, bid rigging, collusive bidding and fraud in international development projects. Click on the links below and to the right to see more detailed information on each of the topics. The topics are presented in the general order that they occur in an investigation, from the initial complaint through the steps of proof to measures to reduce the risk of corruption and fraud in future projects.


How to Respond to a Complaint

Most significant cases begin with a complaint and many cannot be proven without the cooperation of an insider, so it is important to know how to respond to a complaint. See initial questions to ask a complainant, information on how to evaluate and follow up on a complaint, and basic but important information on how to interview a cooperative witness.

Also find information on how to generate complaints and reports and a list of fraud reporting sites for Multilateral Development Banks.

The Most Common “Red Flags” of Corruption, Bid Rigging, Collusive Bidding and Fraud

This section lists the most common indicators or “red flags” of possible corruption, bid rigging, collusive bidding and fraud, organized according to the contract and procurement stages. You can match each indicator to the related scheme or schemes and learn how to follow up.

Also see the visible red flags of fraudulent practices in construction contracts and “proactive,” computer-aided tests for collusive bidding and other offenses.

“Due Diligence” Background Checks on Firms and Individuals

Learn how to conduct effective on-line and on-site background checks on firms and individuals to confirm their existence, ownership, affiliations and credentials.


The Most Common Schemes and How to Prove Them

Learn how the most common corruption, bid rigging, collusion and fraud schemes in development projects operate, their specific red flags, summaries of actual cases and the basic steps to detect and prove each scheme.

The Basic Steps of a Complex Corruption and Fraud Investigation

See how to proceed in a logical and efficient manner through a complex corruption and fraud investigation from the initial complaint or discovery of a red flag to the final report. Included is specific advice on the collection of documentary evidence, background checks on firms and individuals, the tracing of bribe payments and how to conduct interviews of co-conspirators and the subjects of the investigation.

See a case exercise that illustrates the investigative steps discussed above.

The Elements of Proof for Sanctionable Offenses

Learn the elements of proof for corrupt, fraudulent, collusive, coercive and obstructive practices as defined by IFI and World Bank Guidelines, to help ensure that all relevant evidence is collected and included in a report.


See important information on the basics of evidence for fraud and corruption investigators to make sure the evidence you collect and present is relevant and convincing.


Resources to Research and Mitigate the Risk of Corruption and Fraud

See links to numerous anti-corruption websites with information on how to identify and reduce the risk of corruption and fraud.

Also see information from actual cases on how corruption and fraud occurs in development projects.