The department failed, for example, to obtain from A4e plodding internal audit reports produced in 2009 which pointed to instances of potential fraud and malpractice across the country. Fit and proper The MPs also said the DWP had not been specific enough with its terminology, including failing to define the standards to provider had to meet to be a fit and proper organisation. The DWP has said on the public record that it would terminate its commercial relationship with a provider if there was evidence of systemic fraud in either current or past contracts, Ms Hodge added. However, it has not yet provided a clear definition of what it means by systemic. Understanding of these terms would help utilities to government departments decide which firms to do business with, the committee suggested. Further, the DWP must put in place better systems to help whistleblowers bring any abuse of taxpayers money to light, it said. There was also an urgent need for the government to publish detailed data on how public money was being spent on welfare-to-work programmes and what exactly they were achieving, the MPs said.
Outrageous and untrue In a statement, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said he had asked senior Labour figures including Ms Hodge to reveal advice they received about fraud during their time in office. No such permission has been granted; Indeed, some have not replied at all, he said. In May, Ms Hodge insisted any suggestion she had deliberately withheld information on the matter was outrageous and untrue. Commenting on Friday s report, Andrew Dutton, chief executive of A4e, said he was confident the firm was a fit and proper company. We have gone back and strengthened our controls and we are now openly calling on MPs, business leaders and employers to come and see for themselves the work that we are doing.