Latest Public Sector News

17.07.12

G4S boss to face MPs over Olympic security debacle

Source: by Fenton Coulthurst

The chief executive of G4S is due to face the MPs of the Home Affairs Select Committee after his security company were unable to supply the security guards necessary for the Olympics.

The company was contracted to provide 10,000 members of staff for securing the Olympic sites for a fee of £280m. After the Government had to call in 3,500 soldiers and police officers from eight different UK forces to cover G4S’s shortfall, G4S stands to lose £50m of its contract and their chief executive Nick Buckles will be questioned by MPs today.

Home secretary Theresa May has said that G4S made repeated promises that they would reach or exceed targets; that the company had not “deliberately deceived” the Government. She went on to attribute the company’s failings as down to problems with “workforce supply and scheduling.”

The Government has been keen to stress that the situation has been met by the deployment of troops and police officers. A spokesman for the Prime Minister said Cameron had personally been involved with the decision to deploy these forces.

G4S, which employs 657,000 staff across 125 countries and makes up 8% of the global security market, has seen its shared drop in value by 9% since the crisis surfaced.

G4S’s domestic prospects have been affected the most. Over half of its 52,570 UK and Ireland staff deal with public sector contracts worth more than £1bn annually. In the wake of the Olympics fiasco, police authorities in the West Midlands, Surrey and Bedfordshire have postponed scheduled talks on privatisation contracts, citing G4S’s handling of security as one of the factors.

With more than £4bn of public sector contracts becoming available soon in a wave of government outsourcing, business analysts say G4S needs to quickly re-establish its reputation to avoid being swallowed by alternative market competitors.

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