Severence package to Lakes-based ex-boss of Serious Fraud Office to be investigated by MPs

The Westmorland Gazette: Ex-SFO boss Phillippa Williamson Ex-SFO boss Phillippa Williamson

A SEVERENCE package of more than £400,000 paid to the South Lakeland-based former chief executive of the Serious Fraud Office is to be investigated by MPs.

The pay and pension exit deal agreed with Phillippa Williamson will be examined by the Commons Public Accounts Committee, chaired by Margaret Hodge, at a one-day hearing next month.

Ms Williamson first hit the headlines in February last year after it was revealed she was paid £27,600 to cover the cost of her weekly commute between her Lake district home and London.

Officials at the SFO revealed that she was paid £12,600 to cover travel costs and £15,000 for accommodation on top of her £120,000 salary.

At the time they defended the decision saying Ms Williamson had ‘transformed the organsation’, making it ‘probably the most effective and efficient department in Government’.

However, Ms Williamson unexpectedly took voluntary redundancy last April, agreeing a ‘special severence payment’ of £15,000 plus £407,000 to be paid into her pension pot to cover the additional costs of her early departure.

One of the aspects the Public Accounts Committee is expected to examine is why approval for the package was not sought from either the Treasury or the Cabinet office.

The committee has said it will also examine the £450,000 severence package agreed with Christian Bailes, the SFO’s former chief operating officer, who also left the organisation last April.

The pay and pension deals led to the National Audit Office ‘qualifying’ the SFO’s annual accounts.

Emily Thornberry, the Shadow Attorney-General, who has been pressing for the inquiry, said: “These payout deals have damaged not only the SFO’s already limited finances, but its reputation as well.

“It is clear that we still have not got to the bottom of what has been going on.”

Before joining the SFO, Ms Williamson, who studied for an executive masters in business administration EMBA) at Lancaster University, worked for HM Revenue and Customs, where she was in charge of the national team for tax credits.

Comments (7)

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5:20pm Sat 23 Feb 13

hogheaven says...

Here we go again when will it end?
Here we go again when will it end? hogheaven

9:10pm Sat 23 Feb 13

Whinfell says...

The next time you read about how much money is being spent to fund our Police Service remember just how much is being wasted.
This is our money i.e. those who actually get off our backsides,go to work and pay not only or income tax but also the Council Tax.
Just think how many hours you have worked,how much you have earned only for a sizeable percentage to be wasted on this lot!
Not only are you paying for daft severance payments like this you are funding their overtime pay and their pensions which are not only generous but they recieve at a ridiculously early age.
Makes me want to give up work and live on benefits.
At least then the State could pay my living expenses and I wouldn't have to fund the Police and other Public Servants, who are taking us all for an expensive ride.
The next time you read about how much money is being spent to fund our Police Service remember just how much is being wasted. This is our money i.e. those who actually get off our backsides,go to work and pay not only or income tax but also the Council Tax. Just think how many hours you have worked,how much you have earned only for a sizeable percentage to be wasted on this lot! Not only are you paying for daft severance payments like this you are funding their overtime pay and their pensions which are not only generous but they recieve at a ridiculously early age. Makes me want to give up work and live on benefits. At least then the State could pay my living expenses and I wouldn't have to fund the Police and other Public Servants, who are taking us all for an expensive ride. Whinfell

11:17pm Sat 23 Feb 13

Kendal Jock says...

Whinfell wrote:
The next time you read about how much money is being spent to fund our Police Service remember just how much is being wasted.
This is our money i.e. those who actually get off our backsides,go to work and pay not only or income tax but also the Council Tax.
Just think how many hours you have worked,how much you have earned only for a sizeable percentage to be wasted on this lot!
Not only are you paying for daft severance payments like this you are funding their overtime pay and their pensions which are not only generous but they recieve at a ridiculously early age.
Makes me want to give up work and live on benefits.
At least then the State could pay my living expenses and I wouldn't have to fund the Police and other Public Servants, who are taking us all for an expensive ride.
Totally agree with you on that one.
A very very expensive ride.
[quote][p][bold]Whinfell[/bold] wrote: The next time you read about how much money is being spent to fund our Police Service remember just how much is being wasted. This is our money i.e. those who actually get off our backsides,go to work and pay not only or income tax but also the Council Tax. Just think how many hours you have worked,how much you have earned only for a sizeable percentage to be wasted on this lot! Not only are you paying for daft severance payments like this you are funding their overtime pay and their pensions which are not only generous but they recieve at a ridiculously early age. Makes me want to give up work and live on benefits. At least then the State could pay my living expenses and I wouldn't have to fund the Police and other Public Servants, who are taking us all for an expensive ride.[/p][/quote]Totally agree with you on that one. A very very expensive ride. Kendal Jock

2:18pm Sun 24 Feb 13

nickjohn says...

The only people who seem to benefit in this country are those who don't bother to work or those at the top who manipulate the system. Its the ones stick in the middle who end up paying for it all.
The only people who seem to benefit in this country are those who don't bother to work or those at the top who manipulate the system. Its the ones stick in the middle who end up paying for it all. nickjohn

6:39pm Sun 24 Feb 13

Whinfell says...

Well we are stuck in the middle I'm afraid.
Whoops there goes another £450000!
Bye bye to my hard earned money which I kindly donated to the State and Local Government through taxation, to spend wisely.
Can I have a refund please?
Well we are stuck in the middle I'm afraid. Whoops there goes another £450000! Bye bye to my hard earned money which I kindly donated to the State and Local Government through taxation, to spend wisely. Can I have a refund please? Whinfell

6:44pm Sun 24 Feb 13

Whinfell says...

I supose we will get someone posting saying that they wouldn't mind paying an extra £10 in Council Tax because they have got some petty local problem which needs policing.
Well before you do post remember where your £10 is likely to end up.
In the pocket of someone else who has been pensioned off.
I supose we will get someone posting saying that they wouldn't mind paying an extra £10 in Council Tax because they have got some petty local problem which needs policing. Well before you do post remember where your £10 is likely to end up. In the pocket of someone else who has been pensioned off. Whinfell

2:59pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Geoff103 says...

"Crates of long-lost evidence found at SFO ‘cast doubt on Nadir conviction’"

from:

http://www.thetimes.
co.uk/tto/news/uk/cr
ime/article3701492.e
ce

Behind Paywall. Today.

May or may not be relevant here
"Crates of long-lost evidence found at SFO ‘cast doubt on Nadir conviction’" from: http://www.thetimes. co.uk/tto/news/uk/cr ime/article3701492.e ce Behind Paywall. Today. May or may not be relevant here Geoff103

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