TSO Northern Ireland
Report On NI Water's Response To A Suspected Fraud & DRD: Review Of An Investigation Of A Whistleblower Complaint
NIA 172/11-15, Twenty-First Report of Session 2011-15 - Report, Together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee Relating to the Report and the Minutes of Evidence
- Northern Ireland Assembly - Public Accounts Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The report 'Report On NI Water's Response To A Suspected Fraud & DRD: Review Of An Investigation Of A Whistleblower Complaint (NIA 172/11-15)' examines the response to a suspected fraud by NI Water and reviews the investigation of a complaint.
In December 2009, internal auditors identified a case of 'invoice slicing' in NI Water. They found that an NI Water manager had instructed the firm (Company E) contracted to install water meters to limit the value of invoices submitted for payment to below £20,000. Limiting the value of invoices in this way is regarded as an indicator of fraud.
Following an internal fraud investigation, Internal Audit found no evidence of fraud but did find significant weakness in NI Water's control over the metering contract. A disciplinary hearing in August 2010 considered the actions of two managers responsible for the contract with Company E and found that they had no case to answer.
In 2005, a whistleblower made allegations against Roads Service staff involved in the procurement of road signs. The allegations included collusion, favouritism to a preferred contractor, and works orders not given to the appointed contractor. Internal Audit reported in January 2010 that it had found no evidence to support most of the allegations, nor of impropriety, nor of staff deliberately showing favouritism to a particular contractor.
In both cases the Committee found that the investigations were slow, seriously flawed and that fraud investigations can only be effective where investigators have an appropriate level of expertise and understanding of relevant law. The findings support the case for establishing a single public sector fraud investigation service.
|Format||Paperback||Published||07 May 2014|
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