I made the following statement as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee at the November 2012 States meeting.
Sir, I am making this statement to update Members about progress in terms of the investigation into the July Fraud and its Review. Having spoken to the Minister of Treasury and Resources Department and Minister of Home Department, we have agreed that, in the absence of any material changes, we shall alternate the updates we provide to this Assembly between us. These will be provided every 2 months and the next update will be provided by the Home Minister.
With regards to the police investigation, members will be aware of the recent arrests carried out by Lincolnshire Police as part of Operation Infinity. We have been advised that there is no further information to report at this time.
In relation to the review of the specific incident of fraud, as I said in my last statement, this will not be able to start until we are advised that it will not prejudice the ongoing criminal investigation. As I am sure members will understand, given the current stage of the investigation, this continues to be the case. I will advise Members as soon as circumstances change.
In my last statement in relation to the broader review into the effectiveness of financial controls in place to minimise the risk of fraud I notified this Assembly that external reviewers were to be appointed and that I would advise who these would be, the timeframe for the review and the cost by the end of October 2012. This target was met and Members were advised that the local practice of Ernst & Young were appointed at a cost not exceeding £25k. Members were also advised that we were expecting completion of their work in December and that the Committee would receive its findings in January.
I am pleased to be able to advise this Assembly that Ernst & Young commenced work on 1 November 2012. I am also happy to be able to report that their work is ahead of schedule and we now expect to receive their report by the end of the year.
It will then be for the Committee to review and consider these findings before setting a date for a public hearing.
Finally, I should like to advise that whilst all the news coming out of the Public Accounts Committee thus far has been in relation to the Fraud Review, we have been undertaking a number of workstreams and activities which will be made public over the coming months and, whilst I have advised that we intend to hold a public hearing in relation to the fraud, it is envisaged that this will not be the first or the last undertaken by this Committee.