Blacklist firm in Olympics fiasco say MPs

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The private company at the centre of the Olympics security shambles should be the first outfit on a Government blacklist of high-risk firms that have failed to deliver, MPs have said.

Politicians repeated their calls for the firm to give up its £57m management fee and said it should pay those people it trained but then failed to use owing to management failings.

The blame for the debacle which saw thousands of troops brought in at the last minute to help secure the Games lies “firmly and solely” with G4S, a damning report found.

Exonerating Olympic organisers Locog, the Home Office and everybody else, the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee said even G4S agreed it was the only one at fault. The firm, which has already taken a £50m loss on the Games, must now “look to the bigger picture, and its long-standing relationship with its biggest client in the UK: the taxpayer”, the committee’s report said.

“By waiving the £57m management fee in its entirety, a small fraction of the £759m that it receives from the British taxpayer every year, G4S would send a strong signal to the public that it is serious about offering fair and reasonable redress when things go badly wrong.”

“Parliament and the general public would regard it as absurd for the company to be claiming a management fee which was clearly negotiated on the basis of the delivery of services which were not delivered.”

The “apparent reluctance” of G4S chief executive Nick Buckles to grasp this point shocked the committee, the MPs added.

They went on: “The Government should not be in the business of rewarding failure with taxpayers’ money.

“We recommend that the Government establish a register of high-risk providers who have a track-record of failure in the delivery of public services.

“This would provide a single source of information for those conducting procurement exercises about companies which are failing or have failed in the delivery of public contracts.”

In future, Government departments, police forces and other public bodies “must not place too much weight on a company’s size and reputation alone”, the report added. And people who were ready and willing to work but not offered a time and place to start should be paid for the training they attended, the MPs said.

“We expect the company to make public a means by which people can be recompensed in such circumstances and to be quick and generous in settling such claims.”

A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said: “In June we announced that – like many businesses – we will take the performance history of our suppliers into account during the procurement process. While we will not publicly name the companies involved it will mean that suppliers with poor performance may find it more difficult to secure work with Government in future.”