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Carillion bosses to be questioned over collapse


MPs on two select committees are to question former bosses of outsourcing and construction giant Carillion after it collapsed with debts of £1.3bn.

Carillion, which employed 20,000 people in the UK, went into liquidation last week leaving a raft of Government contracts in doubt and a large pension deficit.

Now the Work and Pensions committee and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee have launched a joint inquiry into the collapse.
MPs have summoned Richard Howson, chief executive of the company from December 2012 until it issued a profit warning in July last year as well as Keith Cochrane, who subsequently led the company on an interim basis.
Chairman Philip Green and three former finance directors are also among those to be called for the session on 6 February.
In addition, the committees plan to question accountancy watchdog the Financial Reporting Council as well as the Insolvency Service, at an earlier session next Tuesday.
MPs want to know how a company that auditor KPMG said was a concern less than a year ago could crash into liquidation with huge liabilities earlier this month.

Work and Pensions committee chairman Frank Field said: “The particularly nasty twist in this now grimly familiar tale is the mountain of debt and giant pension deficit this public services contractor leaves in the wreckage of its collapse – with an accompanying massive hit to the public purse.”
Meanwhile, Labour has been trying to force a binding vote in the Commons to force ministers to carry out their risk assessments for Carillion before it went bust.
The Government last week set up a task force involving businesses and trade unions to support companies and workers affected by the collapse of the company.

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It has left thousands of suppliers and subcontractors owed money in limbo and has seen work paused on building sites, prompting anger over the pay awards enjoyed by the company’s bosses as well as questions over the background to the collapse.
Carillion was involved in a variety of public sector contracts from helping construct the HS2 rail link to delivering school meals, maintaining prisons and building hospitals.

Source: Sky

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