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.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Savvy Media Ltd: Media Sales executive - Crawley

£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible