Bungling Olympic security firm G4S loses contract to run Wolds prison and fails to win any additional prison contracts

 

G4S paid the price for the fiasco over security for the London Olympics today when it was stripped of a contract to run a prison and missed out on other jail contracts.

Although the Government denied the firm was being punished for its failure to recruit enough guards for the Games, there was speculation that ministers regarded handing G4S further work as too hot to handle in the wake of the shambles.

Shares in G4S dropped by more than 3 per cent, wiping £100m off its value, after the Government announced that the firm would lose its contract for the Wolds Prison in East Yorkshire, which it has run since its opening in 1992. It will be transferred to the public sector when the contract expires next June.

G4S, which describes itself as the world’s leading international security group, with operations in more than 125 countries and 657,000 employees, also failed to make the shortlist of firms competing to run Northumberland Prison and three jails in South Yorkshire from next year. The three bidders are Sodexo, Serco and MTC/Amey.

A G4S spokeswoman admitted the firm was disappointed by the decisions and said it would seek talks with the MoJ in the next few days to find out while it was unsuccessful.

She added: “As the leading private provider of prison management in the UK, we have 20 years of experience of running prisons for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Our performance across all six prisons we run has been to a high standard with every aspect of performance either meeting or exceeding the key performance indicators applied by the MoJ.”

Government sources insisted the decisions were not “political” and that G4S’s bids were not “compelling enough.” The MoJ said of the Wolds Prison: “An MoJ spokeswoman its evaluation of the Wolds Prison concluded that it would be more beneficial to allow the current contract to expire and the prison to revert to public sector management.”

Only five of the nine sites put out to competition by the Government will switch to private firms. Durham, Coldingley in Surrey, and Onley Prison in Warwickshire will all remain in the public sector.

Andrew Haldenby,  director of the Reform think tank, said: “This is a dramatic U-turn which calls into question the Government’s whole approach to improving public services. Competition has improved the prisons environment for both prisoners and staff.”

The MoJ said its competition process had produced a “compelling package of reforms” which it hoped would save £450m over the next six years. Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, said: “The cost of running our prisons is too high and must be reduced. We can do this by being more innovative and efficient, and without compromising public safety.” 

The Howard League for Penal Reform called for the decision-making process to be more open. Frances Crook,  its chief executive, said handing prisons to the private sector was “a mistake of Olympic proportions”. She added: “The Government will seek to deflect criticism of its prison privatisation programme by excluding G4S from the next stage of the bidding process, but the principle of awarding lucrative contracts to private companies running prisons on the cheap remains unchallenged.”

The Prison Officers’ Association attacked  the move to privatise more jails as a “disgraceful decision”. It said “The incarceration of the guilty and occasionally the innocent has to be the responsibility of the state.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
Arts and Entertainment
Liam and Zayn of One Direction play with a chimpanzee on the set of their new video for 'Steal My Girl'
music
Arts and Entertainment
Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
music
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior IP Opportunity at Major Firm

vary Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - AN OPENING AT A VERY HIGH Q...

Nursery Manager

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Nursery Manager Long term Ran...

Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes