Fraud up 68% at Transport for London


Internal fraud at Transport for London has increased by 68% in the last year, according to its own Internal Audit papers. The figures, revealed today by the London Assembly Conservatives show that the cases being investigated include one looking at “payments to apparently dead pensioners”.

 

The findings are contained in TfL’s own ‘Internal Audit Annual Report for 2004/5”, which will be presented later today at City Hall to the TfL Board’s Audit Committee.

They show a total of 123 cases of internal fraud are being investigated including 13 members of staff who have been referred to the British Transport Police or sent to trial for ticket office fraud. Other types of fraud include: distribution of pornography, possible identity theft and contractors claiming for work not undertaken.

Roger Evans, newly appointed Chairman of the London Assembly Transport Committee said, “This massive increase in fraud at TfL is disturbing in itself. That this includes bizarre cases of payments being made to dead pensioners shows there are clearly holes in TfL's accounting.

"One also wonders just how many cases of fraud have not been identified or are not reported. I will be asking the Mayor how many cases he thinks go unreported - and what he intends to do about it.”

The Internal Audit papers also reveal a disturbing “Gap” in corporate governance of the Mayor’s flagship £10 billion transport investment programme – which includes the East London Line, the western extension of the congestion charge zone and improvements on the Tube, Officially known as the ‘Investment Programme’, the audit report states:

“….we are concerned at the progress in developing and establishing proper governance procedures over the delivery of the Investment Programme.”

Roger Evans added, “Poor corporate governance is unacceptable at any time but it is particularly alarming that this is occurring in the Mayor's flagship transport investment scheme. The public deserves to be reassured that TfL is using the money it raises from inflation-busting fare rises, responsibly.

"I welcome the fact that TfL's own auditors have admitted there is a 'gap' in corporate governance. However, they now need to explain why such a gap exists - and to make sure it is plugged immediately.”