Two G4S directors resign following Olympics staffing fiasco but chief executive remains
Two G4S directors have resigned in the wake of an independent review into the company’s botched Olympic Games contract.
• Chief executive Nick Buckles to remain but two of his deputies to depart
• Buckles had admitted to MPs that Olympics staffing shortage was “humiliating shambles”
• Company report found that monitoring and tracking of hired workers was poor
• G4S has estimated its loss on the Olympics contract at about £50 million
Chief operating officer David Taylor-Smith and Ian Horseman Sewell, head of global events, are to take responsibility for the fiasco but chief executive Nick Buckles will remain in his post.
The report by PwC found that monitoring and tracking of the security workforce was inadequate and that management failed to appreciate the scale and exact nature of the project.
G4S fulfilled 83 per cent of contracted shifts at the Games, failing to provide all of the 10,400 contracted guards, forcing the government to step in with military personnel.
G4S said its board had decided that it was in the best interests of the company and its shareholders that Mr Buckles remains as chief executive.
Mr Buckles, who admitted to MPs that the Games staffing episode had been a “humiliating shambles”, was not guilty of any significant shortcomings in his performance, the company said.
However, G4S will appoint a chief operating officer to work closely with Mr Buckles on areas such as customer service and project delivery.
It has also promised to carry out more rigorous risk assessment of new contracts and will demand board-level oversight on contracts where annual revenues exceed £50 million.
G4S, which has estimated its loss on the Olympics contract at about £50 million, is the world’s biggest private security company, with more than 650,000 staff worldwide.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London said 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 G4S employees who did a great job, I’m not going to try and persuade them to stay this morning.”
Keith Vaz, chairman of the commons home affairs select committee, said: “This is the right decision by senior officials at G4S to take responsibility for the fiasco of G4S’s involvement in Olympic security preparations.
“This, however, does not represent closure. As the home affairs committee recommended, G4S must address outstanding issues concerning the waiving of the management fee and the ex-gratia payments it should make to the employees it treated in such a cavalier fashion.”
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