MPs savage rotten state of Carillion

MPs savage rotten state of Carillion

MPs said regulators were too "passive" in tackling Carillion's issues and that the government had "nurtured" an environment in which the collapse of an outsourcing firm was "a distinct possibility".

Two parliamentary select committees published a double-barreled blast at a "rotten corporate culture" that included the board members, the government, accountants and regulators.

The Rt Hon Frank Field MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: "Same old story".

The MPs investigating the Carillion case recommended that the UK Government should now refer the statutory audit market to the Competition and Markets Authority. "They rightly face investigation of their fitness to run a company again". "British industry is too important to be left in the hands of the likes of the shysters at the top of Carillion". The company's delusional directors drove Carillion off a cliff and then tried to blame everyone but themselves.

'Their colossal failure as managers meant they effectively pressed the self-destruct button on the company'.

The committees also slammed large accounting firms, claiming the market for auditing major companies is "neatly divvied up" among the Big Four firms and that a "lack of meaningful competition" creates conflicts of interest.

Deloitte was paid over £10m by the company to act as its internal auditor but MPs conclude they were either unable or unwilling to identify the terminal failings in Carillion's risk management and financial controls, or too readily ignored them.

"It is a parasitical relationship which sees the auditors prosper, regardless of what happens to the companies, employees and investors who rely on their scrutiny".

Across the country thousands of people lost their jobs when the company went bust.

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Ex Carillion directors Richard Adam, Richard Howson and Philip Green were personally criticised.

'I have objected to the committees about quotes that they have misattributed to me.

'By the end, a whole suite of advisers, including an array of law firms, were squeezing fee income out of what remained of the company.

'The mystery is not that it collapsed, but that it lasted so long'.

The 12 January payments were: Slaughter and May (£1.196m), Akin Gump (£305,549), Willkie Farr & Gallagher UK (£164,016), Clifford Chance (£149,104), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (£91,165), Sacker & Partners (£37,211) and Mills & Reeve (£20,621). "The majority of United Kingdom businesses and business leaders bear little relation to the companies we have seen fail due to poor corporate governance in recent years, yet unfortunately they are tarnished by the same brush". The plans we put in place have ensured this.

Drawn up jointly by MPs from the Work and Pensions and Business committees, the report is one of the most strongly worded ever produced by MPs. "We need reform", she said.

Ms Reeves told the BBC that the four providing auditing services for virtually every listed company.

Former executives of the collapsed government contractor Carillion faced questions on Tuesday from MPs on the work and pensions select committee and their counterparts on the business, energy and industrial strategy committee.

Rail, Maritime and Transport union general secretary Mick Cash said: "Today's bombshell report rams another nail in the coffin of the racket of outsourcing and franchising".

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