Two G4S directors resign in wake of Olympics fiasco… but chief executive Nick Buckles keeps his job Chief operating officer and head of global sales to go after Olympics blunder

Report found monitoring and tracking of security workforce was inadequate
Also concluded that management failed to appreciate scale and exact nature of the project

The head of bungling security firm G4S will keep his job despite an independent review finding the company guilty of ‘mishandling’ its Olympic contract.

Embattled Nick Buckles, whose pay and benefits package was worth £5.3million last year, had been widely expected to lose his lucrative post over the fiasco.

But instead, two of his deputies will pay the price for the group’s failures during the Games.

The company’s UK boss David Taylor-Smith and events chief Ian Horseman Sewell have both resigned.

G4S signed a £284million contract 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 and could not deliver and the army was drafted in.

A damning report by accountancy firm Pricewaterhouse- Coopers found the company’s handling of the deal was ‘ineffectual’.

It said the group was ‘capable of fulfilling the contract’ but ‘did not recognise’ the scale of the work, and listed a catalogue of errors, including bad management.

Controversially, however, PwC said it was not ‘in the best interests of the company’ for Mr Buckles to leave, despite the fact he was twice dragged in front of MPs to explain the fiasco.

G4S said in a statement: ‘Whilst the CEO has ultimate responsibility for the company’s performance, the review did not identify significant shortcomings in his performance or serious failings attributable to him in connection with the Olympic contract.’

Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee and led the hearings into the G4S blunders, said the decision to keep Mr Buckles was ‘not closure’.

But G4S chairman John Connolly said: ‘[Mr Buckles] couldn’t be expected to in detail be responsible for every large contract.’

Chief operating officer David Taylor-Smith, pictured left, is one of two senior directors to have resigned after the G4S Olympics security fiasco

The report said the contract problems were largely specific to the Olympics, with the company not planning sufficiently for the scale and complexity of what was needed.

Taylor-Smith was responsible for the contract and for ensuring it was delivered on budget and on time, while Sewell was the account director who said just before the Games that the company could have delivered two events of that scale at the same time.

However, Buckles, who has been with the world’s biggest security group for 27 years, has been the face of the Olympic failure, taking to television and radio to apologise to the British public and twice being hauled in front of a Parliamentary Committee to explain what had happened.

London Mayor Boris Johnson told LBC 97.3 radio it was right the G4S bosses quit over the Olympics fiasco.

He said: ‘The rank and file, the troops on the ground, did a wonderful job, but when you look at what happened in the management of those hordes of G4S employees who did a great job, I’m not going to try and persuade them to stay this morning.’

G4S fulfilled 83 per cent of contracted shifts at the Games, but failed to provide the required 10,400 contracted security guards
G4S PRISONER ESCAPES

Police have issued a photograph of a prisoner who escaped from custody by climbing out of a window at a court.

Michael Davidson, 27, absconded from Tain Sheriff Court in the Highlands on Tuesday afternoon.

Northern Constabulary said that while he is not dangerous, he should not be approached.

They urged anyone who sees him to contact police immediately.

The force said that the man was the responsibility of security firm G4S at the time.

It is believed the prisoner escaped through a window in the building.

G4S said they are carrying out a full investigation into the incident and will be working closely with the Scottish Prison Service and relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances.

G4S has largely prospered under Buckles, who has presided over a share price rise of some 76 percent since being elevated to group CEO in July 2005.

But investors have worried that the Olympics affair could jeopardise G4S’s relationship with the government, a core customer, at a time when Britain wants to heavily involve the private sector in running public services.

Government deals account for over half of G4S’s £1.8billion of British revenue and make up more than 20 per cent of its pipeline of potential UK work, which includes prison management deals and electronic tagging contracts.

G4S, which has estimated its loss on the Olympics contract at around £50 million, is the world’s biggest private security company with more than 650,000 staff worldwide.

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 08:00 GMT, 28 September 2012 | UPDATED: 23:51 GMT, 28 September 2012

Find this story at 28 September 2012

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