11/09/2009

Fás Fraud Files Exposed

Fraud detectives investigating the Fás training and employment agency have today handed over files detailing the level of waste and excessive spending by the body's executives.

The Director of Public Prosecutions received the files from Comptroller & Auditor General's (C&AG) office following an investigation into an advertising company suspected of systematically double-charging Fás.

The charge is one of a long line of allegations against the agency who are responsible for running a number of Job Centres in Ireland to facilitate those seeking employment.

Outrage against the authority first emerged after the body revealed it was running at an expense of nearly €1 billion per annum.

In this latest investigation over systematic double-charging, it is understood the owner of advertising company involved ran several firms, which regularly billed the training agency more than once for the same work.

Garda sources have also revealed that an Fás employee is also under investigation in relation to the mysterious payout of €622,000 over a period of years for goods and services never supplied.

Yesterday Leo Varadkar, Fine Gael's Enterprise spokesman said "Heads must roll on the FÁS board and at senior executive level".

Mr Varadkar said: “The C&AG’s report confirms shocking levels of waste within FÁS. Accountability for this bad practice goes all the way to the top of the organisation.

"Taxpayers and the thousands of hard-working FÁS employees deserve no less. Yet no single member of the FÁS board, or anyone at senior management level, has been held accountable."

Minister for the Environment John Gormley also today called for the resignation of the board members of State training agency.

(DW)


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