>Serco Outsourcing , commits fraud yet wins lucrative Tory government contracts
>Serco admitted three offences of fraud and two of false accounting, just after winning biggest-ever public contract
Serco has been fined £19.2m plus £3.7m in costs over an electronic tagging scandal that saw it charge the public for supervising the movements of people who were dead, in prison or had left the UK. The £19.2m fine includes a 50 per cent discount because Serco reported the problems itself and co-operated with the investigation. An investigation into rival outsourcer, G4S, over electronic tagging is ongoing. Separately, Serco was fined £6.8m by the government between April 2013, and December 2018 for failures in its provision of housing for asylum seekers. On Wednesday, its UK subsidiary Serco Geografix announced an agreement with the SFO which brings to an end investigations over wrongful billing and means a full criminal prosecution is avoided.
Lisa Osofsky, the director of the SFO said Serco “engaged in a concerted effort to lie to the Ministry of Justice in order to profit unlawfully at the expense of UK taxpayers”. Serco won the largest ever UK government contract in January – a £1.9bn deal to manage 5,000 properties occupied by asylum seekers who are waiting for their claims to be processed.
Rupert Soames, Serco Group chief executive, said: “Those of us who now run the business are mortified,
The group now reports annually to the SFO and the cabinet office on its assurance programme following the saga.
The Financial Reporting Council also launched an investigation in June 2016 into Serco’s group auditor, Deloitte, at the time of the offences.
Wednesday 3 July 2019 10:15
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