Compass denies rebate wrongdoing

COMPASS has denied any wrongdoing over volume contracts for services it provides for non-food contracts.

Reports this weekend suggested that Compass, whose customers include the Ministry of Defence, had asked some of its non-food suppliers for rebates of up to 20 per cent relating to contracts it had with the government.

But a Compass spokesman denied there was anything wrong in the practice saying: “Volume rebates are part of the normal course of business and reflect the benefit of our scale, enabling us to deliver value for our clients.

“The market in which we operate is highly competitive. Clients have significant choice over who to appoint so we strive to offer the best value as transparently as we can.”

Compass admitted there were “legacy” issues with two former suppliers but that these were not part of how it did business today.

It said those issues related to only a very small number of historic non-food contracts and “would account for less than 0.5 per cent of UK total purchases that we bought at that time.”

Compass said it had gone through a significant turnaround, resulting in increased transparency and new supply contracts. It also appointed a new commercial team.

It said all of its products and services were checked against external industry indicators “on a regular basis to ensure we offer our customers the best possible value for money whilst earning a margin for the UK business of 6.4 per cent.”

Last week cabinet secretary Francis Maude told government suppliers he expected them to be more transparent in their dealings.