SFA auditors to help carry out review of A4e contracts

Auditors at the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) have been assigned to help A4e carry out a review of some of its government contracts.

The internal audit, announced by A4e last week, will investigate all of the contracts the welfare-to-work firm has with the SFA.

A statement from the SFA, released today, says: “The Agency has decided that Agency auditors will work alongside A4e’s auditors to complete this exercise and provide additional assurance to the Agency that contracts are being delivered in accordance with our requirements.

“In the current context the Skills Funding Agency is vigilant and continues to monitor the situation very closely.”

A4e’s board announced last week they had asked the international law firm White & Case LLP to lead an independent review into the controls and procedures at the company.

The board says all of the findings will then be handed over to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The DWP meanwhile is launching its own investigation into A4e following allegations of attempted fraud.

The independent audit will look at all of A4e’s commercial relationships with the DWP and require the firm to make all documentation available, as well as all employees available for interview.

A spokesperson for the DWP said: “We have made it absolutely clear to A4e that we take this matter very seriously, and that if at any point during the audit or thereafter we find evidence of systemic fraud in DWP’s contracts with A4e we will not hesitate to immediately terminate our commercial relationship.”

The board at A4e added: “The Board has made consistently clear in all previous statements that we take any allegations of fraudulent or otherwise illegal activity extremely seriously.

“There is absolutely no place for this type of misconduct at A4e.

“We obviously acknowledge the concerns raised by DWP, and we welcome and will cooperate fully with their planned investigations.”