MPs to grill G4S and Serco amid criminal probe

Suzie Neuwirth
EXECUTIVES from G4S and Serco will be interrogated by a committee of MPs on Wednesday, as scandals surrounding government contracts continue to blight the two FTSE 100 outsourcing firms.

Alastair Lyons, chairman of Serco will attend the hearing, alongside Ashley Almanza, chief executive of G4S. Paul Pindar, chief executive of Capita and Ursula Morgenstern, regional chief executive for UK and Ireland at Atos, will also be present.

City A.M. understands that Nick Buckles, G4S’s former chief executive who departed in May after a series of high-profile gaffes at the firm, will not be representing the company at the hearing.

Earlier this month the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) launched a criminal investigation into the two firms, focusing on electronic prisoner-monitoring contracts awarded by the government.

It was alleged that they charged for tagging criminals who were either dead, in prison or never tagged in the first place.

All government contracts held by the two firms have been under review since July and the Ministry of Justice commissioned an independent audit by PwC back in May.

The PwC audit and the Cabinet Office review are expected to complete this autumn.

Serco’s chief executive Chris Hyman resigned last month amid the allegations, as did G4S’ UK head Richard Morris.

G4S’ reputation had already taken a battering prior to the tagging contract investigations, notably due to its failure to provide enough security staff at the London 2012 Olympics.

G4S and Serco both said they are cooperating fully with the SFO.

The previous government has been criticised for overpaying the firms it outsources contracts to. The coalition has launched a drive to cut costs.