The Curmudgeon


Monday, November 04, 2013

The Innocent Have Practically Nothing to Fear

Those nice, efficient people at Serco and G4S are under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. An external audit exposed some small irregularities in the billing process; notably charges for tracking the movements of several thousand electronically tagged criminals who were no longer electronically tagged. In some cases they had moved abroad (being criminals, they were doubtless migrants rather than expats); in other cases they had moved back into prison. Some had been legitimately relieved of their tags; some, perhaps most economically of all, had died.

After UKBA and the Olympics, of course, it is nearly as difficult to distinguish incompetence from fraud in the cases of Serco and G4S as it is in the case of Iain Duncan Smith. Graybeing asked both companies nicely whether anything dishonest had occurred, and both companies duly spoke up and said that if anything dishonest had occurred, the companies' entrepreneurs, wealth creators and bonus claimants were certainly not aware of it. Graybeing called in the Serious Fraud Office when G4S refused to co-operate with an internal audit by the ministry; Serco did co-operate, but Graybeing has set the dogs on them anyway, possibly because he knows exactly how efficient a ministerial audit can be. The Cabinet Office is also reviewing the Government's other contracts with the two companies which, reassuringly enough, include the management of the nuclear weapons facility at Aldermaston. Squeaking for Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition on behalf of the great British public, the shadow justice minister made pious noises and called for minor adjustments.

Nevertheless, there is a silver lining. Whoever wins the next election, or at least feels the love-sick chill of the Liberal Democrats climbing into bed with them, the Serious Fraud Office will almost certainly be privatised along with the rest of the criminal investigation and justice system. If anything can put a stop to all this inconvenience, that ought to do it.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home