Wednesday, 23 May 2012


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?


  1. I think now there is a reputational risk with the entire work programme. If this information isnt published (taking into account police action) then people will claim cover up, why would they hide the information if there wasnt something wrong.

    If this is a serious case that is being sent to the police, you could say that they dont want to make the suspects suspicious.

  2. What a complete can of worms. Last Sunday, Andrew Dutton claimed that everyone should now feel reassured about A4E because it has survived various DWP audits.

    Two days later, A4E's name is dragged through the mud for the umpteenth time and the DWP have nowhere to hide.

    One of Cameron's pet phrases is "Get a grip." When, exactly, is he planning to do precisely that with this utter MESS that IDS and others have dragged him into?

    In Cameron's shoes, I'd be blaming IDS in private and I'd threaten to chuck him out of the Cabinet unless IDS gets the proverbial "grip" in a hurry and sacks A4E from everything to do with the Government without any further delay. After that, I'd send for Devereux of the DWP, get him warmly by the throat and give him the biggest mauling that he's ever had.

    "Get a grip" does not mean "Whinge feebly whilst doing nothing," after all!

  3. Only the deluded tories could present the WORK PROGRAMME as something wonderful.The media should run a census on those currently on the WP, i bet 80-90% would give this 5 billion pound tax payer waste of money idea a huge thumbs down.


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