G4S and Serco to keep Scottish contracts

G4S remains in contention for lucrative contracts at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
G4S remains in contention for lucrative contracts at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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CONTROVERSIAL security giants G4S and Serco are to lose contracts tagging criminals for the Ministry of Justice, following an overcharging scandal.

However, the companies will continue to be paid public money for key roles in the Scottish justice system, including electronic monitoring and running Kilmarnock prison.

G4S also remains a leading contender for lucrative contracts with Police Scotland during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, despite failing to provide enough security personnel for last year’s London Olympics and having to be bailed out by the Army and police.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling announced yesterday that its electronic monitoring contract will be handed to Capita on an interim basis at the end of the financial year.

Capita is in the running to take on the contracts permanently later in 2014, Mr Grayling added.

The Serious Fraud Office has opened a criminal investigation after it emerged G4S and Serco overcharged the UK government for tagging offenders, some of whom were found to be dead, back in prison or overseas.

In a written statement, Mr Grayling said: “We have signed a contract with Capita to take over the management of the existing electronic monitoring services on an interim basis.

“This will mean that management of these services, which are now operated by G4S and Serco, will transition to Capita by the end of the current financial year. Under these arrangements, Capita will be using the systems and equipment of G4S and Serco, but the two companies will no longer have a direct role in delivering the service on the ground.”

G4S and Serco both withdrew from competition for future tagging contracts, which were due to expire at the end of March.

The Scottish Government insists it rigorously checks its contract with G4S.

A spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government contract for electronic monitoring services is entirely separate to the Ministry of Justice.

“G4S in Scotland were appointed service provider following an open tender process and the Scottish Government audit the company on a monthly basis to ensure that the service that they are delivering matches the contract that we have with them.”

G4S also operates prisoner escorting services for the whole of Scotland, while Serco runs HMP Kilmarnock. Neither contracts are in doubt.

A Scottish Prison Service spokeswoman said: “Various processes are in place to ensure compliance and to confirm service payments within the G4S and Serco contracts reflect the services delivered.”

And G4S remains in the running for Commonwealth Games contracts.

Deputy Chief Constable Steve Allen, Security Director, said: “As part of the ongoing procurement process, each company involved is being assessed prior to any contracts being confirmed.”