New report reveals “devastating evidence of systemic fraud within A4e”


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A leaked internal A4e document has revealed evidence of “systemic fraud” at the company. The document, obtained by the BBC, shows A4e staff “claiming for putting people into jobs which did not exist, jobs which did not qualify for payment and fabricating paperwork”.

A4e-Emma-Harrison
Margaret Hodge MP, chair of the House of Commons public accounts committee, said of the audit:

“This appears to be devastating evidence of systemic fraud within A4e. Either A4e failed to act or to inform DWP, or they did inform DWP and the department failed to investigate properly. Whichever, it is completely unacceptable. Once again, I am urging the department to suspend all its contracts with A4e immediately.”

The document was obtained by BBC Newsnight’s Paul Mason, who will report fully the latest developments on tonight’s programme; earlier this evening, he said:

“We’ve obtained a draft internal audit report which suggests widespread potential fraud and irregular activity, activity among, across numerous offices, and, crucially, the report warns of quotes “systematic failure to mitigate risk in relation to fraud and irregularity”. It further warns that management’s knowledge of whether its controls against fraud were working were quotes “minimal”…

“The report surveyed just the work of the top 20 recruiters so these are people highly successful in placing unemployed people in jobs and therefore earning money for A4e.

“Now, the report said eight per cent of the claims surveyed were either potentially fraudulent or irregular, a further nine per cent were risky, 14 were uncheckable, often because the employer could not be contacted or indeed found, and as a result, only 70 per cent of all the claims could be verified.”

Watch his interview on BBC News 24:

Regular readers will recall that, earlier this month, A4e tried to prevent Left Foot Forward from publishing an internal document (pdf) that appeared to indicate poor performance on behalf of the scandal-hit welfare-to work company.

We reported that the document (pdf) showed:

…the job entry rate, i.e. the proportion of individuals A4e is responsible for at some level, manages to find a job for, is 8.4 per cent overall and 9.7 per cent if ‘specialists’ – those partners dealing with difficult cases – are excluded.

Meanwhile, the percentage of those who secure a job managing to hold on to that job for 26 weeks, appears to be denoted by the Outcome/Potential Outcome collumn, which has a total of 1.9%, including and excluding difficult cases. If this is the right reading of the table, then it represents a dramatic undershooting of the Department for Work and Pensions’ own targets.

As can be seen from this National Audit Office report (pdf) published in January 2012, the DWP expects 36 per cent of those referred to companies such as A4e to be secured a job for at least 26 weeks (page 4), and 28 per cent of those not on the Work programme to reach this milestone on their own (page 22).

The latest revelations from the BBC show A4e not just failing, abjectly, to hit their targets, but fraud on a massive scale: fully 30 per cent of their claims are unverifiable.

 


See also:

The document A4E doesn’t want you to see 5 Mar 2012

A4e: Corruption, fraud and the £200m failure to help the unemployed 2 Mar 2012

A4e’s fall from grace has been in the pipeline for two years 2 Mar 2012


 

A4e may have threatened us that they “won’t hesitate to take the strongest legal action should you publish this data or make any of the inferences set out”, but something tells us they, in common with all bullies, didn’t quite have the cojones to take on someone bigger than them and menace the much mightier BBC…

 


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  • Alphie

    Not surprised. I used to work for a social enterprise that did a similar thing to A4e. We were struggling to meet our targets one month and a colleague who used to work for A4e said we should just make it up as he and others used to do at A4e. He made it sound like common practice as audits weren’t completed for years at a time, if at all. Just to be clear, we didn’t do what he advised and as a result we missed our targets, failed to get the funding we needed for that month and had to close down.

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  • Anonymous

    Neither am I. The scale of fraud in general with anything that the government does is massive.

    Hence the need to axe large parts of government. If it is small, it can’t commit the sorts of fraud that go on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Martin-Williams/754415459 Martin Williams

    They lost 32 people and companies.Auditors examined 224 outcomes, and reported that 4% of successful job outcomes demonstrated potential fraud or irregular activity while another 3% demonstrated a “reputational risk” to A4e if details were ever to emerge in public.

    In 14% of cases – or 32 successful job outcomes – auditors were unable to complete visits. In some cases the auditors were unable to locate either the company or the individual concerned.

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  • Arecbalrin

    A private sector company is accused of fraud. That means the problem is the public sector, as always.

  • Anonymous

    Typical Tory attitude

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  • Mr. Sensiblwe

    Lord Blagger that is simply ridiculous. It is the company, not the government, who are committing this.

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  • Anonymous

    If the government don’t investigate, and hand out jail time as applicable for the suicides which A4e have caused…

  • Anonymous

    You’re expecting logic and sense from a troll. Ssh, I usually get him to swap silly statements with me these days :P

  • Anonymous

    The problem of course she was great friends with Blair’s lot then ran to the Tories and is now running away.

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  • Blarg1987

    By that logic, then the smaller the public sector, the less resources the expertease they would have to audit private sector performance of goverment contracts and so higher amounts of fraud and abiuse of tax payers money :s.

    I accept the public sector is not perfect but the idea of service like Southern Cross, A4E, pip implant fiasco with private clinics, being better is deeply worrying.

  • Anonymous

    Well it takes two.

    If I ask you for a million and you give it to me, who is the idiot?

    Me for asking or you for giving it out without checks.

    What it shows is that the Public sector cannot be trusted with tax payers money, because its spends it on things like A4E.

    Anyway, you’re going to get your high taxes, and the tories are going to get their small government. The debts are so large, there is no way back.

  • Anonymous

    And you don’t think 7,000 bn of government debt even more worrying than some bimbos with fake boobs?

    What about the 20,000 deaths in the NHS, caused by the NHS? Or is it that the public sector are immune from criticism and paying compensation to their victims.

  • Anonymous

    Ah right, reconstruction surgery makes people “bimbos” now. Thanks for the usual torrent of prejudice.

    And funny, it’s almost like you want the American system, which kills a lot more AND lets many of the 99% die from not being treated. Oh right, you do.

  • Anonymous

    Nope, I think they should be treated. We need a health service with universal coverage.

    What we also need is that the insurance companies who insured the surgeons to pay out for the boob jobs.

    We also need the NHS to pay compensation to the relatives of those killed by its mistakes. Something it avoids, studiously. 20,000 a year, killed by the NHS.

    It’s same, boob jobs or killed, those responsible should be made to pay, irrespective of who they work for.

    That’s the difference between you and me. You think your mates shouldn’t be done for their errors. I think all should be done, and the victims compensated.

  • Anonymous

    Really? No, I think every single evader should be done. Including you. And certainly the poor should be compensated and not punished for your feral 1%’s actions.

    And that’s a complete turn-around on the health service. So you’re going to drop the language of eugenics from your ranting now? And you’re going to admit that the NHS has a good safety record compared to other countries systems?

  • Anonymous

    Ah right, so in face your reply to me was two-faced, since you just called for closing down any government service for the 99% again.

    A4E never had a role beyond saving the government money at the expense of people’s lives.

    And of course you call for destroying this country’s economy and the 1% laughing all the way to the bank, using the language of inevitability because you’re protecting corporate welfare. Typical far right corporatist…

  • Anonymous

    Look, if you want the cash, get a gun go and a mug someone for it.

    You’re basically a little coward. You want someone else to do the mugging for you.

    As for eugenics, it was Labour party policy. From the campaign for Sterlization, advocated by Keynes and Beveridge amongst others.

    The NHS might be better compare to Burkino-Faso and the US if you have to rely on the state for your health care, awful compared to say Switzerland or Germany. Not surprising that you are off to Germany by the way.

    20,000 or more deaths a year causes by NHS errors. Should they get compensation or should it just be people with failed boob jobs? If your relatives are killed, sod it, get on with it.

    Ah yes, no comments there.

  • Anonymous

    Ah yes, thanks for your insight into your thought process there. Violence, death, murder.
    And I’m the coward?

    I’m also not a labourite, I’m LEFT wing. LEFT. Not CENTRE. There is a difference between these words. And I see, despite the fact that we’ve had very good health outcomes you can’t be bothered with dem statistic things. Never mind that you’re supporting a system where there will be financial reasons to cover up data.

    Thanks for setting out your goals for a system like Burkino-Faso and the US, though. Typical…

  • Anonymous

    20,000 deaths a year caused by the NHS.

    What statistics do you have for the number of deaths that they cause?

    Post them

  • Anonymous

    And how many lives do they save?

    How many die elsewhere? How many is the present government’s plans going to contract the treatments available…you don’t care, you’re simply against treating the 99% and self-justifying with a factoid.

  • Anonymous

    In the case of Switzerland versus the NHS, the number killed there compared to here, is that the NHS kills 200% more.

    If its because the treatments aren’t available here, that’s trying to justify a crap service. Try it if you want.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget, the NHS didn’t spot Shipman.

    Then you have all those hospitals killing patients because they can’t clean.

    You had one in Sidcup that starved a patient to death. We only know because he left notes. The hospital didn’t spot it.

  • Blarg1987

    If we take the emotion out of this discussion I said to quote “I accept the public sector is not perfect”. now yes no system is infalable they all have flaws, public sector debt has been built on by a combiantion of both Labour and Conservatives, from destroying our manufacturing bases and constant borrowing to fund tax breaksfor the feel good factor.

    If we want people to be held accountable in botht eh public and private sector for their actions you need a well resourced and well funded regulating body, so how will you do that?

    Will you get the best people for the job in whcih case will you pay them very high salaries as their are in certain private sector professions?

    Will you regulate it properly by ensuring their are enough people in place to carry out detailed investigations and checks which mean you will have to expand some areas such as care home inspectors etc?

    Either way be it reallocationg resources or providing additioanl resources taxes will stay the same or increase overall.

  • Anonymous

    Ah yes, the Swiss.

    Well, let’s see. Their healthcare costs are the second highest in the world, behind Norway and America. If you spend more, you get more treatments. Moreover, there are other factors which can affect a population’s health, ones the Swiss score highly on.

    The poor in the country still frequently report they can’t afford basic treatments, however. Just as dentistry in the UK – the poor often just get to suffer until something REALLY bad happens, which is much more expensive to fix.

  • Anonymous

    Hence I keep saying they are all responsible.

    However, borrowing is about 1/7 of the debt.

    If we want people to be held accountable in botht eh public and private sector for their actions you need a well resourced and well funded regulating body, so how will you do that?

    No you don’t. You need politicians to be held responsible, and that means giving the electorate control over politicians. This is different from the current set up where we have no control, just control over which politician.

    Will you get the best people for the job in whcih case will you pay them very high salaries as their are in certain private sector professions?

    Make it an irrelevance. Make it that people keep their money, rather than give it to incompetents.

    Will you regulate it properly by ensuring their are enough people in place to carry out detailed investigations and checks which mean you will have to expand some areas such as care home inspectors etc?

    Not needed. You just vote on the issue.

    If you want control over which politician, introduce the right of recall after petition.

    So we have less taxes because there is less spending.

    For the question of how to get control, have referenda by proxy. Cost 20 million a year on top of the 100 million cost of voter registration. Funded by the 150 million a year spent on Peers.
    Net saving 130 million a year.

  • Anonymous

    Ah right, so make it so that the people don’t get services without paying up-front. America’s healthcare system, or worse.

    And referendums, the tools of tyrants and dictators. No wonder you love them. Thatcher hated them. So did Atlee. But you? Nope, Corporatist all the way!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, and? You’re demanding a 100% fail-safe system before you’ll let the NHs function.

    Hence, you’re demanding the end of the NHS. And the NHS saves a lot of lives. Typical bloody-handed right wing propaganda.

  • Blarg1987

    No you don’t. You need politicians to be held responsible, and that means giving the electorate control over politicians. This is different from the current set up where we have no control, just control over which politician.

    – We do it is called an election, just people are not mercenary enough to vote they go down old party lines.

    Make it an irrelevance. Make it that people keep their money, rather than give it to incompetents.

    – How can you make it irrelevent? People need to be paid and its human nature to go for jobs that pay the highest salary, you need regulation no mater what your ideological belief otherwise we will end up with far more cases of Souther Cross etc.

    Not needed. You just vote on the issue.

    – So the electorate will vote on oprivate sector contracts etc? Not being funny I don;t know the first thing about care home services so I won;t know how well it is doing and if it is offering best value for money just because it may be cheap does not make it cost effective.

  • Blarg1987

    If we are playing this game, one has to point out hospital infections increased after OUTSOURCING of cleaning services from in house NHS staff to reduce costs, so one can say that was a failure of the private sector, for being unable to provide a higher quality service for the same or less money.

    Yes Shipman case was bad, however there have been cases in the USA, and Europe etc which are as bad so it is a universal problem.

  • Anonymous

    Just as you have no say now the Tories are in, that means you aren’t responsible for what they do.

    As other posters have said, if you don’t like it, fuck off. That’s the argument repeatedly put by the left. Now you’re trying to do that, as you’ve admitted.

    I think that approach is wrong. The government shouldn’t be targeting people.

    But if you aren’t asked to vote on an issue, you aren’t responsible for the failures of policy.

  • Anonymous

    That’s right, YOU are responsible. The blood’s already on your hands from the people who have killed themselves over this government’s bullying and in at least two cases because they had ZERO income and preferred it to starvation.

    I don’t WANT to leave. The Tory policies are FORCING me to consider leaving so I can work. There’s a difference.

    Your response? Fuck off. What a well elucidated, nuanced, thoughtful response. So, here’s one of mine – go play Hello Kitty Online, it’s more you level of discourse.

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