Interview Questions: Fictitious Contractor

Questions that might reveal a fictitious contractor include:

  • Do you know or suspect, or have you heard, that any contractor may not actually exist, except to invoice for non-delivered goods or services?
  • Can any one employee or procurement unit order, receive and approve payment for goods and services?
  • Are all paid contractors listed on the approved or master contractor list?
  • Are all paid contractors listed in:
          • Business directories?
          • Telephone directories?
          • Chamber of commerce directories?
          • Dun & Bradstreet?
  • Is the existence of lesser-known contractors confirmed by telephone calls and visits?
  • Do invoices from any contractors appear to be unprofessional [not on reprinted forms, etc.?
  • Do invoices from any contractors lack supporting documents, such as purchase order or receiving documents?
  • Have there been instances of unfolded invoices being paid?  (Indicating that the invoice might not have been mailed?)
  • Are any contractors paid without invoices?
  • Do any otherwise suspect invoices list only a post office box with no street address or telephone number?
  • Do any contractors submit sequential invoices over an extended time period?
  • Do any contractors submit invoices that have discrepant invoice numbering systems or formats?
  • Are purchase orders, receiving documents or verification of services required before invoices are paid?
  • Have there been instances in which the receipt of goods or services could not be verified?
  • Are there indications that any service being obtained is unusual or unnecessary?
  • Have there been unexplained increases in purchases in suspect categories, such as consumables, repair work, or consulting?
  • Do all consultants provide written work product? Is it appropriate for the fees charged, or merely “boilerplate”?
  • Do checks payable to any contractor contain a second or unusual endorsement?
  • Do any accounts payable or contracting personnel demonstrate a keen interest in a particular contractor, or personally handle all transactions related to the company?
  • Do any employees in position to set up a fictitious contractor appear to live beyond their means?
  • Are controls and procedures to prevent fictitious contractors in place and enforced?