In a statement published on the DWP website today, 9th March 2012 a DWP spokesperson said:
This week we have been made aware of an allegation of attempted fraud in relation to a Mandatory Work Activity contract with A4e. We have begun a formal, immediate investigation of this allegation.
As a result of this new allegation DWP has immediately commenced its own independent audit of all our commercial relationships with A4e. We have required A4e to make available all documentation which our auditors may require and provide full access to interview any A4e employees. This is separate from the independent review of internal controls which A4E has previously announced.
The Chief Executive of A4e was informed of this at a meeting with a senior DWP official earlier today.
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.