Jul 3, 2019

Serco’s fraud fine leaves G4S looking less sure-footed

For the five years that the Serious Fraud Office has been investigating contractors involved in the electronic tagging of offenders, Serco has looked better than G4S in at least one respect. In the settlement, the SFO "Recognised the significant steps Serco has taken to reform itself, including . . . a comprehensive Corporate Renewal Programme approved by the UK Government". Serco is still being made to further strengthen its ethics and compliance functions, and report back to the SFO and the Cabinet Office - but the absence of an independent overseer suggests trust is restored. Second, the fine will not cost Serco or shareholders an arm and a leg - such is the group's improved financial strength. In 2013, the SFO began a joint probe into G4S and Serco - but the fact it has decided to announce a DPA with only the latter suggests it might be taking a different approach with the former.

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