Whistleblower's tale: 'A4e routinely fabricated results to get payments'


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The Independent Online

My name is Eddie Hutchinson and I was employed by two companies, Working Links from 2007-10, and A4e from 2010-11. Within each company there were occasions on which I encountered unethical behaviour or wrongdoing that fell way below standards that should be expected of organisations funded by significant sums from the public purse.

I was appointed head of audit of A4e in October 2010. It quickly became evident that the incidence of frauds and irregularities was a major problem for the company. An ever-increasing volume of frauds came to my attention.

The type of frauds perpetrated by operational staff at A4e usually related specifically to the falsification of job outcome evidence on a number of legacy welfare-to-work contracts.

Such contracts from memory attracted a payment of around £1,300 for A4e for each jobseeker placed into work and this was followed by a payment of £3,000 to A4e once this placement became a sustained job.

The fraud carried out was usually that job outcome evidence required to be completed under the contract would be fabricated by the falsification of employers' signatures by some A4e staff involved, which meant that erroneous jobs were recorded and targets for job outcomes apparently met.

This whistleblower's account was submitted as evidence to the select committee, and subsequently leaked