London Development Agency
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Assembly told no evidence of LDA fraud, corruption or collusion

The LDA Chief Executive Manny Lewis and statutory Chief Finance Officer Andrew Travers today reported to the London Assembly that its review of allegations made by the Evening Standard had found no evidence of fraud, corruption or collusion within the LDA.

The LDA’s review was carried out by the LDA’s statutory Chief Finance Officer, who has legal responsibility for the proper administration of the agency’s financial affairs, with support from auditors from the external firm Deloitte and Touche. This approach to the review was discussed with the District Auditor, to whom the report has now been referred.

The LDA’s review was published last week and concluded that there was no substance to the bulk of allegations made by the Evening Standard. The review found that 12 of the 16 allegations made were unfounded. Where the review found that there was a need for further work, the LDA has referred the allegations concerned to the police. These allegations refer to matters external to the LDA and not to the LDA itself. The LDA has referred these matters to the police as it does not have the full powers necessary to formally interview and investigate external parties.

The review also found that there was no evidence of improper interference in projects by the Mayor’s adviser Lee Jasper.
A fourth project is still being audited as matter of routine LDA procedure before any further decisions are made.

Notes to editors

1. The LDA takes all allegations of misconduct and misappropriation of funds very seriously and has a clearly laid out whistle-blowing policy to enable anyone to come forward with evidence for investigation.

2. The LDA review covered projects about which the Evening Standard made specific allegations of misconduct on 5, 6, 10 and 17 December 2007.

3. The LDA review was published on Friday 11 January 2008 and is available on the LDA website: http://www.lda.gov.uk/upload/doc/Evening_Standard_review_report_to_Board_11_Jan_2008_20080111180606.DOC


4. A press statement was issued detailing the report’s conclusions which is available on the LDA website: http://www.lda.gov.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.2368


5. The LDA has set out its next steps on its website: http://www.lda.gov.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.2386


6. For completeness the LDA is reviewing a further six projects that were mentioned in the Evening Standard, but about which no specific allegations were made.

7. Separately another project, Green Badge Taxi School, which the LDA last funded in 2002, has already been referred to the police for investigation.

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