U.K. Calls in Fraud Office Over G4S Payments for Tagging

The U.K. government referred G4S Plc (GFS) to the Serious Fraud Office, saying it overcharged for electronic tagging services, including claims for monitoring dead people.

Serco Group Plc (SRP) also agreed to a forensic audit of all its contracts with the government after irregularities were found over payments to it and G4S for tagging prisoners released on license and defendants released on bail, Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling told lawmakers in the House of Commons today. The SFO was asked to investigate G4S after the company refused to cooperate with an audit, Grayling said.

“There are a number of cases where charging continued for a period when subjects were known to have died,” Grayling said. “This is a wholly indefensible and unacceptable state of affairs.”

Payments which “run into the low tens of millions of pounds” have been made to the two companies since 2004 for people who were not being monitored, had returned to jail and left the country, as well as those who were dead, Grayling said, citing an audit of billing arrangements he ordered on May 17.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Penny in London at tpenny@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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