MPs say decision is ‘unbelievable’ and they should be banned after London 2012 fiasco
G4S failed to recruit enough staff and more than 10,000 troops had to be drafted in at the last minute
Bosses say decision proves Government recognises they can ‘still win business’
Bungling Olympic security firm G4S is set to be offered another gold-plated Government contract despite its failure to provide enough staff for London 2012.
The company, which MPs want blacklisted from taxpayer-funded deals because the Army had to rescue it this summer, has now been shortlisted to help in several call centres.
G4S has been picked by the Department for Work and Pensions above 16 other firms and now looks likely to help advise the public on benefits.
Scandal: G4S’s mishandling of its Olympic security contract led to the military being called in, but it has now been shortlisted for another taxpayer-funded deal
Its inability to cope with an Olympics security contract meant that 18,000 troops and 12,000 police were drafted in to form the ‘ring of steel’ around venues that G4S had promised, causing national outrage.
G4S signed a £284million deal to provide 10,400 Games security guards, but just 16 days before the opening ceremony it admitted it had only fulfilled 83 per cent of contracted shifts.
Laughing: G4S boss Nick Buckles managed to keep his £5.3m a year job despite the embarrassing problems this summer
Politicians have today vented their fury at the news.
Shadow sports minister Clive Efford said: ‘This is unbelievable after the way they let down the country.’
Tory MP Patrick Mercer and former Army officer added: ‘I would be deeply concerned about further taxpayers’ money being spent on the firm that caused such chaos.’
But despite their catastrophic failings this summer G4S, which offers a wide range of services, not just security, said they could do the job.
Sean Williams, managing director of its employment support services arm, said the decision showed it could ‘still win business’.
‘We’ve done a massive amount of work for the Government over the past few years and we hope the Government recognises that,’ he added.
G4S look set to run call centres linked to the Coalition’s roll out of its Universal credits system.
The six main benefits will be rolled into one over the next five years and G4S staff could help answer calls from the public.
A DWP spokesperson said: ‘Framework agreements with six suppliers will allow DWP to procure contact centre requirements over the next four years, if needed.
‘DWP’s own call centres remain the primary point of contact for claimants and there is no guaranteed work for any suppliers on the Framework.’
Changes: British soldiers were denied holiday and brought back from warzones to fill in for G4S
G4S SIGNS UP NEW DIRECTORS TO SURE UP BUSINESS
G4S announced the appointment of three new directors today as the security group looks to move on following its Olympics Games contract fiasco.
ITV chief executive Adam Crozier and Paul Spence, who has served on Capgemini’s management committee, will join the G4S board next month, while Tim Weller, chief financial officer of Petrofac, will start in April.
The non-executive appointments replace Bo Lerenius and Paul Condon, who will retire from the company’s board in June following nine years service.
Shares in the FTSE 100 Index group were 3 per cent higher today.
The head of the bungling security firm kept his job despite an independent review finding the company guilty of ‘mishandling’ its Olympic contract.
By Martin Robinson
PUBLISHED: 13:31 GMT, 18 December 2012 | UPDATED: 17:49 GMT, 18 December 2012
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