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.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
News
Sir James Dyson: 'Students must be inspired to take up the challenge of engineering'
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
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

Recruitment Genius: Embedded Linux Engineer - C / C++

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A well funded smart home compan...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Engineer - Python / Node / C / Go

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: *Flexible working in a relaxed ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Bookkeeper

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This accountancy firm have an e...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Developer / Mobile Apps / Java / C# / HTML 5 / JS

£17000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Junior Mobile Application Devel...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?