It's all over the media by now. The Slough fraud allegations have dragged on a long time, but now nine A4e former employees have been charged with a total of 60 counts of forgery and conspiracy to defraud. According to the BBC they were working on a programme called "Inspire to Aspire", a local initiative very much like the Work Programme. They will appear in court on 14 October.
Both the Guardian and the Independent front their pieces with a photo of Emma Harrison. Curiously, the Independent says that "prosecutors have not been asked to consider charges" against her personally. It also quotes the head of fraud at the Crown Prosecution Service, who describes A4e as "a social purpose company"; we thought that particular label had been buried.
The company did discover and report the fraudulent activity themselves - they had to. And they will be glad to get the case out of the way and say it couldn't happen again.
“We referred the matter to the Department for Work and Pensions, which then referred the allegations to the police.”ReplyDelete
A4e did not report this to the Police according to the above statement.
Indeed, hoping the DWP might sweep it under the carpet no doubt. But one suspects they (DWP) were forced to report it.
They would have had to do it that way round. They couldn't have expected anything less than what's happened.Delete
"[A4e] was paid £200m a year by the Government for training job-seekers and finding them work" - Many, myself included, would dispute this claim. I have on record from one of their advisers that A4e do not provide or fund training. As for "finding them work", I'll leave it to published DWP statistics to disprove that claim.ReplyDelete
The ruling of the Advertising Standards Authority on A4e's preposterous "social purpose company" bragging relates only to advertising material and website. The phrase still appears in some of A4e's pamphlets but these are deemed to be beyond the jurisdiction of the ASA so the phrase continues to be used. It is disappointing though to see it being mindlessly repeated by such an august person as the head of fraud at the CPS!ReplyDelete
I also find it difficult to understand why charges were not considered against EH. As CEO (at the time of the alleged offences) and as one who stood to gain personally from the alleged fraud it seems logical that charges should at least be considered.
It makes you wonder if her leaving A4E was planned in order to distance herself from it,what is surprising(?) is after her bumper dividend she resigned and the next year A4E posted a loss,was this her exit plan knowing that the allegations were true all along?Delete
Would she be aware of everything that happems in all her offices? I have never met EH or would say I am her biggest fan. This was fraud and hopefully the culprits WILL be prosecuted. We will also no doubt learn more about the reassons for this - bonuses, targets etc. Looking forward to hearing all this - the investigation is ongoin/g. PS All this happened when Labour were in office so don't expect IDS or anyone to be blamed.Delete
The Guardian also has a reportReplyDelete
Feel free to add to the comments, I have (The Guardian allow me to say some things that Historian won't!)
The WP statistics seem to have drawn very little attention,overall the rate seems to be 10.5%,meanwhile IDS is still ranting about mandatory full time work for your benefits,while at the same time blaming the economy for the WP results..I guess he wants it both ways.ReplyDelete
Please remember that there has been no trial yet, so no one is presumed guilty.ReplyDelete
@Historian,with the exception of those on the WP that have not found employment,it is obviously are fault that the WP has failed due to?Delete
Sorry, I don't understand you. I was talking about comments on the fraud case which assumed that those charged were guilty.Delete
Sorry,late night post,what I meant was people subject to sanctions are penalised and have to prove their are not, but have to pay the price until they appeal.Delete
The CPS would not have agreed to charging the 9 ex-A4E people with over 60 separate offences unless the CPS were reasonably confident that they will be able to get most of the charges to stick to the wall in the court.ReplyDelete
How often do we read that Bloggs will not be prosecuted because the CPS have told the police that they, the CPS, do not think that there is sufficient evidence against Bloggs to enable the CPS to secure a conviction?
Also, the Head of the CPS has been involved in this particular case. She told the Press that the CPS do not intend to recommend charging Emma Harruson with any offences. Therefore it is not as if the CPS have left everything to their least experienced minions.
My own impression is that the CPS are fully aware of the acute poltical sensitivity of this particular matter. The Head of the CPS would not have got involved for any other reason, imho, and she is advised by some of the very best QCs, who have loads of experience & skill at dealing with criminal matters. However, David Cameron drooled over Emma Harrison as if he were an unusually gormless pet pooch of hers, so he now looks as if he won the Mutt’s Prize at Crufts, does he not?
You may well be right, but until they have been tried and found guilty, they are innocent.Delete
It wasn't, I think, the head of the CPS who told the Independent that they weren't prosecuting Harrison. More likely, the journos asked and the CPS said no.