Mark Leftly: Two giants let us down, but at least they have now made the necessary sacrifices
Serco's parallels with G4S grow more astonishing by the day, even allowing for the fact that both have been implicated in the electronic tagging scandal.
They are entrusted with running and protecting vast swathes of our public services, and have let the country down.
G4S is most infamously known for failing to provide 10,400 guards for the London Olympics, a source of national pride but a contract that was small fry for a group that employs 620,000 people. Serco is a similarly sprawling group, involved in everything from schools inspections to training military helicopter pilots.
Both groups are too vast – empires rather than companies. They are unwieldy and cannot be controlled, so senior directors are unable to properly keep track of managers running operations on the ground.
That means they make huge mistakes. Let's be clear, G4S being synonymous with the Olympic failure and Serco with the electronic tagging and prison van scandals blurs many far greater errors.
For example, Serco was fined a mere £200,000 earlier this year for an explosion at, of all places, the Atomic Weapons Establishment while G4S "secured" the US nuclear facility that was infiltrated last year by a group of protesters led by an 82-year-old nun.
Nick Buckles, the long-time G4S chief executive, resigned far too late when he finally admitted defeat in May while Mr Hyman should have gone in the summer. Neither knew how to react to their respective scandals, so unused as they were to being subjected to public scrutiny – despite taking our money.
Worst of all, both are companies too important to fail. They are now as fundamental to the public sector as any Government department: getting rid of them from public life is unfeasible.
All the Government needed to keep using them were these sacrifices, no matter how belated.
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
Isis 'throw man off a building for homosexual affair' and beat him to death when he survives
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...