It's reported that a sixth person has been arrested from the Slough A4e office in connection with the fraud investigation. All 6 are free on bail. No details of the charges have ever been given, but it's hinted that the fraud involves false job outcome claims.
And that reminds us of the investigation which is supposedly ongoing into whether there is "systemic fraud" at A4e. No news of that, but I bet it's only a matter of time before it's announced that there were only isolated cases of fraud, it's not systemic, and all sorts of procedures are in place to minimise the risk .... blah, blah. Because, as we've said before, the government can't contemplate finding A4e guilty and taking away their contracts. We know that there are allegations against other providers, so why single out A4e? It makes the Work Programme look like a row of dominoes; knock the first one down and they all fall over.
One examination that A4e has to face, along with the other primes, is an assessment of their compliance with the Merlin Standard. This guides the relationship between primes and their sub-contractors. The process runs throughout May and June, but there's no statement of when we'll hear the results.