Council contractor faces claims of falisfying contracts

PUBLISHED: 08:22 09 March 2013

POLICE are looking into claims made at a meeting last week that former county council contractor employees falsified records.

At a Herts full council meeting last Tuesday, Liberal Democrat county councillor Chris White demanded answers, after accessing a number of documents.

The meeting heard the allegations, linked to some employees at former contractor Amey LaFarge, had been raised by a former highways engineer.

The documentation, says Cllr White, claims there was falsification of records, use of inferior materials and false closing down of jobs.

Cllr White, who asked a series of questions at the meeting, said the cost is “likely to be in the millions”.

Following the revelations, Herts Police – which had been contacted by the county council last year – said it was looking at the claims.

A spokesman said: “We are currently working to establish whether any new information has come to light in recent days which would warrant a police investigation.

“Until we have any further information it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

The county council, which confirmed “improper allegations” were made against particular employees of the former highways contractor last year, said it had carried out an investigation at the time, with the cooperation of the contractor.

It also said it informed police at the time, whose view was it was a civil not criminal matter.

A spokesman added: “Hertfordshire County Council takes any allegations of impropriety very seriously. We have a clear and well established whistle blowing procedure and take firm action to ensure that the best interests of Hertfordshire residents are protected.

“Hertfordshire Constabulary have told us that they are currently establishing whether any new information has come to light in the last few days which would warrant a police investigation. As this is the case, it would be inappropriate to comment on the detail of Hertfordshire County Council’s investigation at this stage.”

A spokesman from Amey LaFarge said: “As there is an ongoing investigation into this matter, unfortunately we cannot provide any further information in addition to the council statement at this time.”

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