This is Matthew Hancock, the Conservative MP and member of the Public Accounts Committee, who insisted that the whistle-blowers' evidence on fraud in A4e and Working Links was not made public. (On the same day Hancock appeared on BBC's The Daily Politics. He was not asked about this, but did manage to quote the party line on how wonderful the Work Programme is.) The whistle-blowers worked with or for the two private companies. According to the Guardian, "One of the whistleblowers said: 'It has taken a lot for us to come and speak in public about what we see as fraud. We have been silenced.'" Two of the witnesses' evidence was previewed in the Guardian on Monday. One of them was "a senior figure in A4e's risk and audit department in 2011" and "claims there was evidence of fraudulent activity in many of the firm's offices." The paper reports, "During the public session held later, Labour MP Austin Mitchell called for an investigation into the claims made in private. He said: 'We have just sat through a long closed session which produced some fairly damning indictments of the structures and the practices in A4e and in Working Links and gave several indications of possible fraud.'"
The Independent also reports the story: "Another [whistle-blower] said they believed that pressure had been applied to the Tory MPs by the Government to ensure that more damaging evidence about the fraud on the programmes was not placed in the public domain."
So is this evidence going to be made public? Or do Hancock and his mates have a vested interest in making sure that it's kept secret?