New investigation launched into A4e

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A FRESH inquiry has been launched into an allegation of attempted fraud involving Sheffield-based welfare-to-work company A4e and its government contracts.

The Department for Work and Pensions has started an independent review in relation to the Coalition Government’s Mandatory Work Activity scheme.

It warned that “if at any point during the audit or thereafter we find evidence of systemic fraud in DWP’s contracts with A4e, we will immediately terminate our commercial relationship”.

Already police investigating separate allegations have arrested four former A4e employees at its Slough offices on suspicion of fraud dating back to 2010.

The controversy has led to the resignation of Emma Harrison, who founded the firm in Sheffield, as David Cameron’s ‘troubled families tzar’ and as the company’s chair.

She said she did not want the media focus on her to be any distraction for A4e.

The company said it will co-operate fully with the inquiry. “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.”

Mrs Harrison started the business 20 years ago to retrain redundant Sheffield steelworkers.