Serco could lose key Whitehall contracts following fraud probe

 
Oliver Smith
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OUTSOURCING firm Serco risks losing three major government contracts if it can’t improve its performance in six weeks.

The Cabinet Office, the watchdog for government procurement, is currently investigating Serco’s Whitehall contracts after the company was hit with allegations of fraud in July after claims that it had altered records on the transport and tagging of prisoners who were either dead, in prison or who had never been tagged.

The firm could lose its £285m prisoner escort contract, management of three jails in South Yorkshire and be excluded from bidding for a £800m contract for the privatisation of the probation service, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

Last week reports emerged that Serco could see its UK and European chief executive leave as the company nears the results of the fraud probe.

A Serco spokesperson said: “Serco is fully committed to our programme of change and renewal and taking the matter extremely seriously. This is an on-going process we have frequent meetings with government to discuss progress, and we will report fully when the process is finalised at the end of November.”