Government orders fast-track inquiry into Carillion directors

Greg Clark

The Government has ordered an immediate inquiry into the affairs of directors at collapsed construction firm, Carillion.

Business Secretary Greg Clark has written to the Insolvency Service and the Official Receiver asking that the statutory investigation into the conduct of the directors is fast-tracked and extended in scope.

This means the Official Receiver’s investigation will consider whether current or former directors of the Wolverhampton-based company may have acted to the detriment of contractors and suppliers, as well as to its workers.

Alongside this, Mr Clark has also written to the chairman of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), Sir Win Bischoff, to ask it to conduct an investigation into the preparation of Carillion’s accounts past and present, as well as the company’s auditor, KPMG.

Meanwhile, a letter prepared by interim chief executive Keith Cochrane has revealed the company had just £29m in its coffers by the end.

It also reveals that the company had formally applied to the government for support on December 31 when it became obvious the banks were unwilling to pump more money into the business without guarantees.

Mr Clark said: “It is important we quickly get the full picture of the events which caused Carillion to enter liquidation, which is why I have asked the Insolvency Service to fast-track and broaden the scope of the Official Receiver’s investigation.

“In particular, I have asked that the investigation looks not only at the conduct of the directors at the point of its insolvency, but also of any individuals who were previously directors. Any evidence of misconduct will be taken very seriously.”

Questions about the role of directors within the business were raised by MPs following the collapse on Monday.