Phillippa decided she wanted it all - a top London public sector job-for-the-girls, a fab home in the Lake District, a child and a family life. Her first grab was at HM Revenue and Customs, where she persuaded them to let her do a five day job in four, permanently 'working from home' for the fifth. Then she took the job as Serious Fraud Office chief where (so ironically) she not only decided that she only needed to work three days a week in London, but that the taxpayer should pay for her travel and accommodation when she did so; she changed her job into permanently working at home, with additional payments if she had to come into the office. And all for the wholly selfish and self-interested reasons - to spend time with her teenage son at her beautiful home. ‘Now I have a Black-Berry, a webcam, I can teleconference – it’s amazing how it’s all changed. Part of my job is to think about where we are going to take the organisation and I do that more contemplative side better in my home environment.’ said Phillippa to the Mail in 2009, when the direction she was taking the SFO was straight down the shitter. With an absent boss who had already decried that the SFO shouldn't tackle any cases that were 'too expensive' to investigate - those against large global corporations - Phillippa could chillax by the Lakes at the taxpayer's expense.
The Commons PAC yesterday published a damning report on what to many eyes amounts to a serious moral fraud. The Chair of the PAC said;
“Mr Alderman provided the SFO’s Chief Executive Officer Phillippa Williamson with a contract specifying that her place of work was her home address in the Lake District. She worked there two days a week. When Ms Williamson worked at the SFO’s London offices three days a week, taxpayers paid for her travel and hotel costs to London, at a cost of nearly £100,000 between 2008 and 2012. For the CEO of an important public body such as the Serious Fraud Office to be granted such arrangements is quite astounding.
“Furthermore, a payment of over £400,000 was made to enhance her pension, even though the necessary approval from Cabinet Office to do so was not in place. The Cabinet Office should explain how this payment was allowed to go ahead without being approved."And exactly why is no-one going to prison for this?