G4S says sorry and pays cost of 3,500 military personnel
SECURITY firm G4S last night said it would cover the cost of the increased military deployment to protect the Olympic Games in two weeks.
The company apologised for being unable to deliver all staff numbers necessary, which this week forced the government to order an extra 3,500 military personnel to fill the gap at London 2012 venues.
Prime Minister David Cameron added pressure to G4S earlier yesterday, warning that companies that failed to deliver on contracts should be pursued for the money.
G4S was initially contracted by Olympic Games organiser Locog in 2010 to provide 2,000 security staff for £86 million. But that figure has since risen to 10,400 personnel in a contract now worth £284m.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has written to Home Secretary Theresa May, calling for reassurance on the security arrangements for the eight Olympic football matches at Hampden, the first of which takes place on 25 July.
In a statement last night, G4S said: “G4S accepts its responsibility for the additional cost of the increased military deployment resulting from the shortfall in workforce delivery. Whilst it is not possible to gauge the precise financial impact, it is estimated that the company will incur a loss on the contract in the range of £35-50m.
“The company deeply regrets that, despite the relentless efforts of so many of its people, it is unlikely to deliver in full its obligations to Locog, to the government and to everyone with an interest in these Games.”
The Prime Minister insisted the controversy should not detract from the build-up to the Games. He said: “I think we should be raising our sights and thinking of the incredible inspiration that these Games are going to bring. The facilities are built, the country is ready, we are in really good shape.”
MPs have raised concerns over G4S profit margins. Ian Swales, a member of the public accounts committee that has examined some G4S Olympic contracts, said the firm should have provided a “Rolls-Royce service” after hiking up its charges by £198m.
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