How to Use This Guide


This interactive Guide provides step-by-step instruction on how to detect and prove corruption, bid rigging, collusive bidding and fraud in major 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.  Also see measures to reduce the risk of corruption and fraud in future projects.


How to Respond to a Complaint

Most significant cases begin with a whistleblower’s 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 stage, from procurement through implementation.

You can click on each indicator to match it 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

This section describes how the most common corruptionbid riggingcollusion 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.   You can click on each scheme to automatically match it to the required elements of proof.

The Basic Steps of a Complex Corruption and Fraud Investigation

Learn 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 subjects of the investigation.

See a simulated case exercise that illustrates this approach.

The Elements of Proof for Sanctionable Offenses

This section explains the elements of proof for Corrupt and Fraudulent Practices, as defined by the International Financial Institution (IFI) Guidelines.


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.