There's a bit of news today which provides no comfort for A4e. Big reforms to pensions come in next year, and the government has recognised that people will need advice and guidance. It was expected that the Money Advice Service (MAS) would be the outfit to deliver that; but no. The Pensions Advisory Service will deliver the non-face to face guidance, while Citizens Advice will handle the face to face service. What has that got to do with A4e? Well, it's A4e which has the contract from MAS to do the face to face money advice, a fact which is still nowhere mentioned on the MAS website. So what might have been a new source of work for A4e won't be.
The "no news" refers to the silence over the Slough fraud case. If you need a reminder, there's this from the Daily Mail. Five A4e employees were convicted of fraud early this year, having pleaded guilty to using forged paperwork to make false claims. Sentencing was delayed, presumably until the trial of the remaining 8 accused, who were, we were told, due to go on trial in October. I assumed that these ex-employees had pleaded not guilty, hence the delay. Okay, there are two weeks of October still to go, but will we hear any more of this case? I know it's small beer compared to the massive frauds by G4S and Serco, apparently forgiven by the government. But we need to hear the full story.