Terms of Reference of PAC Fraud Inquiry

Below is the Media Release issued on 19 September, accompanying the Terms of Reference for the Fraud Inquiry, which are attached.

The Public Accounts Committee has published its terms of reference for its review prompted by the fraud committed against the States of Guernsey reported in July 2012.

This will be a broad review of the effectiveness of financial controls in place across the States of Guernsey to minimise the risk of fraud against the organisation and safeguard States’ assets.

The Treasury and Resources Minister has previously given his assurances that immediate steps have been taken to tighten procedures internally in the light of the fraud incident, and the review will seek to validate those steps.

Deputy Soulsby, Committee Chairman, said:

“The Public Accounts Committee will assess whether appropriate financial control policies and procedures are in place and are being applied consistently, that risks are properly managed and weaknesses addressed promptly.

The focus of the review will be very much on preventing future vulnerability and providing independent assurance that processes and procedures across the States of Guernsey are to an acceptable standard. The review will include consideration of information about the circumstances surrounding this specific case of fraud, in particular considering how the fraud was able to occur and what the response has been to protect the States against future fraud.”

The Committee will now be commissioning expert consultants to investigate and produce a report in line with the terms of reference it has set.

The appointment of those consultants is expected to be completed and announced by the end of October 2012. The Committee is of the view that it is necessary to appoint external consultants to provide the necessary expertise. The cost of the review will be met from the Public Accounts Committee’s budget.

The Committee intends to conduct a hearing based on the information provided by the consultants, and will then publish its findings.

Deputy Soulsby said:

“The Committee has a general policy to publish information gathered relevant to its reviews and aims to hold its hearings in public, unless it would not be in the public interest to do so. Obviously this review will include consideration of extremely sensitive information so the Committee will need to navigate very carefully when it comes to deciding what can be published and what evidence may be heard in a public forum. The review must not prejudice the ongoing police investigation, and we will work closely with the police and Law Officers in order to ensure that.”

The Chief Minister, Deputy Peter Harwood, said:

“I have been provided with assurance that steps have been initiated to tighten up on procedures since the fraud was discovered. I am pleased that the Public Accounts Committee has agreed this review to provide independent validation of the processes and procedures in place.”


Terms of Reference

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