Serco to probe prisoner contract allegations

Suzie Neuwirth
OUTSOURCING firm Serco yesterday said that an internal review into its prisoner escorting contract is now underway, after the Ministry of Justice called in the police to investigate allegations of fraud.

The company, which was demoted from the FTSE 100 index yesterday in the quarterly reshuffle, said that it has established a specific board committee to oversee the programme and resolve any issues from the reviews and audits which are due to be completed by the end of November. Lord David Gold, a former senior partner at the law firm Herbert Smith, has been appointed as an independent third-party member of the committee.

Serco staff are alleged to have recorded prisoners as having been delivered to court by its vans on time when in fact they were not – a key performance measure.

The firm’s share price slumped 10 per cent in the third quarter after the UK government said it would not award the company any new contracts and would review existing ones following the allegations.

Shares closed up 0.5 per cent.