Home Page Link Contact Us Link Site Map link

Taxpayers spent £100,000 in travel and hotel costs for the former head of the Serious Fraud Office

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The former head of the Serious Fraud Office spent £100,000 of taxpayers’ money on travel and hotels after she was allowed to work part of the week from the Lake District.

Phillippa Williamson also received a top up on her pension of £400,000 even the though the top up wasn’t approved by Civil Service Chiefs.

Ms Williamson stepped down from her position at the SFO in 2012 after four years.

A member of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, Richard Bacon, stated: “For the chief executive officer of an important public body such as the Serious Fraud Office to be granted such arrangements is quite astounding.” 

Mr Alderman, former director of the SFO, authorized Williamson to make the 550 mile trip from the Lake District to the SFO London Headquarters. MP’s said that Alderman displayed a “disregard for the proper use of taxpayers’ money” by agreeing severance packages for three senior staff, including Ms Williamson.

When Williamson stepped down from her position she was award £464,905 including the enhancement of the pension top up of £407,000. MPs said that there is no evidence that the redundancy package Williamson received was approved by the cabinet office.

The MPs said: “The former director’s decisions on redundancy and severance packages showed a disregard for the proper use of taxpayers’ money. Mr Alderman failed to follow due process by deciding the amounts in special severance packages and by not seeking alternative placements for staff.

“He ignored legal advice available to him and did not gain the necessary Cabinet Office and Treasury approval for payments. He failed to comply with the principles that should underpin the use of public money.”