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National Employment Savings Trust Corporation Accounts 2012-13

The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) has qualified his audit opinion on the regularity of the National Employment Savings Trust Corporation’s 2012-13 Annual Report and Accounts, on the ground that the Corporation incurred fraudulent expenditure in the year.

A small number of payments to a supplier were fraudulently diverted, resulting in a loss of £1.446 million being incurred by the Corporation. The fraud was of a type known as a mandate fraud and was directed at the Corporation. The Corporation has explained the circumstances of the fraud, including the fact that no money was taken from Pension Scheme members’ retirement pots, in the governance statement in its annual report (section 4.17).

The C&AG considers the fraud led to a material loss of public funds and that the circumstances that gave rise to this fraud were a significant control failure for the Corporation. He has concluded that the expenditure incurred in respect of the fraud has been used for purposes other than that intended by Parliament, and is, therefore, irregular.

The C&AG does also recognize that the Corporation has undertaken the necessary work to investigate the incident and initiated steps to strengthen controls over the payment process.

 July 2013


Notes for Editors

  1. The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) Corporation is the trustee Corporation established on 5 July 2010 to develop and operate the NEST Pension Scheme, which is a key element of the Government’s automatic enrolment programme. The Corporation’s Annual Report and Accounts records its income and expenditure and cash flows for the year, as well its statement of financial position as at 31 March 2013. The Annual Report and Accounts do not include the accounts of the NEST Pension Scheme, which are reported separately.
  2. Mandate fraud is where the fraudster gets the victim to change bank transfer details by purporting to be a regular supplier.
  3. In 2012-13, the Corporation incurred net expenditure after interest of some £61.050 million, of which some £1.446 million related to fraudulent expenditure. This represents 2.4 per cent of total expenditure.
  1. Press notices and reports are available from the date of publication on the NAO website, which is at Hard copies can be obtained from The Stationery Office on 0845 702 3474.
  2. The National Audit Office scrutinises public spending for Parliament and is independent of government. The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), Amyas Morse, is an Officer of the House of Commons and leads the NAO, which employs some 867 staff. The C&AG certifies the accounts of all government departments and many other public sector bodies. He has statutory authority to examine and report to Parliament on whether departments and the bodies they fund have used their resources efficiently, effectively, and with economy. Our studies evaluate the value for money of public spending, nationally and locally. Our recommendations and reports on good practice help government improve public services, and our work led to audited savings of almost £1.2 billion in 2012.

PN: 48/13