G4S has issued an update this morning on the scandal over its electronic tagging of prisoners. The Ministry of Justice's (MoJ) investigation into whether the outsourcing company overcharged the government for its electronic monitoring (EM) services between 2005 and 2013 is ongoing. (Release)
The firm said that an internal review currently being conducted by Linklaters confirmed that, "in certain circumstances", G4S "wrongly considered itself to be contractually entitled to bill for monitoring services when equipment had not been fitted or after it had been removed."
Another way of putting it is that the outsourcer thought it was entitled to bill the country for tags that weren't actually being worn by prisoners.
G4S, which says that the billing practice "was not consistent with the contract or [the company's] values", has apologised and provided credit notes to the government totalling just over £24m. The firm said that the MoJ "is conducting an audit in relation to EM billings and the Company's assessment of these matters and the credit notes may not agree with the Ministry's audit findings. Once those findings are available, G4S will work with the Ministry to resolve any outstanding matters."
Ashley Almanza, chief executive, said today that the mangement of the contract was "unacceptable" and the announcement "is an important step in setting this matter straight and restoring trust". The external investigation has incurred costs to G4S of about £2m.