Pressure on G4S mounts as costs come under fire

THE COST of the Olympic contract given to security company G4S was brought under further political scrutiny yesterday as MPs including Ed Miliband criticised the firm.

A report from the public accounts committee on preparations for the Games expressed concern that G4S would “receive substantial sums of public money without providing the contracted number of guards”, while the committee’s chair, MP Margaret Hodge, said: “No credible explanation has been given” for hikes in the firm’s fees.

G4S’s remit was increased from 2,000 guards to 10,000 last December, but management fees rose 12-fold while uniform costs shot up from £3m to £65m.

Labour leader Ed Miliband added his voice to the growing criticism of the embattled firm, saying its situation “beggared belief” and calling for the government not to sign G4S to further policing contracts until a review into the firm’s “ability to deliver” had been carried out.

G4S said yesterday it still expected to lose £35m to £50m on the contract. It said its £57m management fee, which critics say should be clawed back, relates to operating costs of the contract.