The UK government estimates that a total of £64 million will be recovered from the operator, in addition to the fine.
The British audit regulator, the FRC, announced on Tuesday the opening of an investigation against the firm Deloitte for its audits of the accounts of the British transport group Go-Ahead, whose publication of results had been delayed due to setbacks in one of the its subsidiaries. the FRC”opened an investigation into Deloitte’s audit of Go-Ahead Group’s financial accountsfor the fiscal year ending July 2021 and the preceding five fiscal years, the regulator said in a statement, without elaborating.
The group had been affected at the beginning of the year by the problems of the railway company London & South Eastern Railway, of which it owns 65% together with the French Kéolis, which owns the remaining 35%. The government had not renewed the franchise contract for this subsidiary in September due to a 25 million pound debt with the British taxpayer. Go-Ahead’s annual results, originally due for release on January 3, could not be released until February 24, with the company and Deloitte explaining that “more time was needed to complete the audit of the financial accountsfor this case. Therefore, the group’s shares had been suspended for almost two months on the London Stock Exchange.
More than 25 million pounds hidden between 2014 and 2020
The London & South Eastern Railway, which served the British capital and south-east England, was also fined £23.5m by the British government in mid-March. Between October 2014 and March 2020, the company “had deliberately concealed more than £25 million of taxpayer fundsBritish, linked to the high-speed line HS1 (provided in the southeast of England by Eurostar), the Government had explained.
This quantity “should have been returned to the taxpayerAccording to the executive, who says he also found breaches in a previous franchise agreement. The government estimates a total of £64 million, in addition to the fine, to be recovered from the operator. The group acknowledged in September that “mistakes were (had) been madeand apologized to the Ministry of Transportation. Deloitte said on Tuesday “cooperate fully with the FRC investigation“, in a statement sent to AFP. The firm added that it is committed to “adhere to the highest audit quality standards».
The audit sector in the United Kingdom is in the Government’s sights, targeted for not having seen emblematic bankruptcies in recent years: those of the BHS store chain in 2016 (PwC), of the construction company Carillion in 2018 ( KPMG) and tour operator Thomas Cook in 2019 (EY).