G4S and Serco fraud investigation launched after reports of overcharging on electronic tagging contracts
Auditors say the firms overcharged the Ministry of Justice for electronically monitoring offenders
The Government’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched an investigation into reports that security giants G4S and Serco overcharged on private contracts to provide electronic tagging of criminals.
Over the summer it emerged that the two companies sent bills to the Ministry of Justice for tagging offenders who were found to be dead, back in prison or overseas.
Those examples only came to light following an audit by the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, launched in May, which alleged that the Government had been overcharged at least as far back as the start of the current contracts in 2005.
A Government-wide review was launched into all contracts with the two firms, which combined are worth around £1.5 billion a year.
The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling had previously said an independent forensic audit into the two firms would be needed, looking at evidence such as the internal emails sent between executives.
G4S confirmed the news today, saying that it has “received notice that the director of the Serious Fraud Office has opened an investigation into the ‘contract for the provision of electronic monitoring services which commenced in April 2005 as amended and extended until the present day’.
“G4S has confirmed to the SFO that it will co-operate fully with the investigation.”
Serco similarly said in a statement: “Serco confirms that it will co-operate fully with the SFO investigation.”
Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said the SFO probe was a “major development”, adding: “I hope that the time taken to launch this investigation hasn't resulted in the loss of important evidence.”
Mr Khan said: “With future Ministry of Justice contracts up for grabs, including more than £600 million of probation contracts, the Government must act swiftly and bar G4S from bidding for any more until the SFO has concluded its investigation.
“By failing to do so, David Cameron risks undermining public confidence in our justice system.”
Labour MP Keith Vaz, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: “I welcome the investigation into this contract. The revelations which led to the minister of justice's referral were very disturbing and it is important that we establish the full facts.”
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Man dies instantly after shooting firework from top of his head
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
Father faces deportation to Thailand after 27 years in Britain for two 'stupid crimes'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative online car purc...
£12500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A subscriptions and marketing a...
£35,000 - £40,000 based on experience : Metail Ltd: As a Business Development ...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well establis...