Live updates

Former A4E staff facing forgery and fraud charges

The former A4E employees facing charges are:

  • Contract manager Ines Cano-Uribe: one count of forgery and one count of conspiracy to defraud
  • Administrator Zabar Khalil: five counts of forgery and one count of conspiracy to defraud
  • Recruiter Charles McDonald: seven counts of forgery, two counts of making articles for use in fraud and one count of possessing articles for use in fraud
  • Recruiter Nikki Foster: ten counts of forgery
  • Recruiter Julie Grimes: ten counts of forgery
  • Recruiter Aditi Singh: three counts of forgery and one count of possessing articles for use in fraud
  • Recruiter Bindiya Dholiwar: seven counts of forgery
  • Recruiter Dean Lloyd: thirteen counts of forgery
  • Recruiter Yasmin Ahmad: two counts of forgery

DWP supporting police investigation into A4E

A Department for Work & Pensions spokeswoman said: "The department takes matters of fraud extremely seriously. DWP continues to provide full support to the ongoing investigation by Thames Valley Police, which is at an advanced stage.

"As today's charges are the result of a police investigation it would be inappropriate for the department to comment further during the criminal process."


Nine former A4E recruitment staff charged with fraud

Nine people have been charged with a total of 60 fraud offences relating to allegations made against staff at the A4E recruitment agency contracted by the Government.

"It is alleged that they forged documentation to support fraudulent claims to the DWP for reward payments which, under the terms of the contract, were paid out when the scheme successfully placed individuals in employment," a Crown Prosecution Service statement said.

The claims date between February 2009 and February 2013 and those charged include one contract manager, seven recruiters and an administrator.

The will appear before magistrates on October 14th.

Whistleblower alleges 'systematic misuse' of public money at A4e

Former A4e chairman Emma Harrison resigned in February 2012. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Telegraph newspaper has obtained evidence of fraud submitted to Parliament by a former chief auditor at A4e. It says Eddie Hutchinson alleges that A4e and another employment firm Working Links oversaw a “disgraceful misuse of government and taxpayer funding”.

The company failed to act despite an “ever-increasing volume of frauds” Hutchinson said in his evidence.

Grayling: Documentation supporting payments 'inadequate'

The documentation supporting payments was seriously inadequate, and in a small number the claim was erroneous. The process established prior to March fell significantly short of our expectations. As a result, the Department has concluded that continuing with this contract presents too great a risk and we have terminated the MWA contract with A4e for the South East.

– Employment minister, Chris Grayling

Ministers criticised over A4e controls

A4e was founded in 1991

Ministers were accused of leaving "glaring holes" in fraud controls on welfare-to-work firm A4e today as one of its contracts was axed.

The National Audit Office said vital evidence was missed in risk assessments of the company, which holds Government contracts worth more than £70 million a year.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) did not request internal audit reports, including a paper highlighting nine cases of possible fraud and seven of improper practice by A4e staff.

The findings emerged after it was announced that the company's Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) contract to help up to 1,000 jobless people in the South East find work was being ended.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said a review by the DWP had not uncovered any fraud, but did identify "significant weaknesses in A4e's internal controls"


Labour slams DWP 'shambles' over cancellation of A4E contract

The Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne has reacted to the news that the Government has terminated a contract with the welfare-to-work firm A4e after deciding that it would be "too great a risk" to let it continue:

After eight arrests at A4e the shambles in DWP contracts is now spreading.

We demanded that the Government came clean about these contracts months ago.

Now we hear they have been forced to cancel a contract vital to helping get people back to work just as Britain has hit a double dip recession made in Downing Street.

The Government must now stop hiding performance information about the rest of its giant private sector contracts and publish so that Parliament can see whether public money is being well spent.

A4e: This is huge reassurance for taxpayers and our customers

Andrew Dutton, Group CEO, A4e said:

These findings demonstrate what I have always maintained to be true – that there is no place for fraud at A4e and make it clear that A4e has strong controls around its flagship contract the Work Programme. Our immediate task is to further enhance our controls to cement our position as a trusted provider of front line public services.

The findings also vindicate the hard work our 3,500 staff do - day in, day out. All over the country we’re helping tens of thousands of people into training and work, knowing we have in place robust levels of quality and assurance. As a company, I recognise that we haven’t got it right all of the time, but we are committed to taking responsibility for our mistakes and remedying them.

No other provider has undergone such a thorough and forensic review of its contracts, and the positive outcome speaks for itself - this is huge reassurance for taxpayers and our customers.

Load more updates