G4S secures £203m contract for asylum seeker services

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SECURITY giant G4S has won a five-year contract from the UK Border Agency to house and transport asylum seekers in Yorkshire and the Humber region.

As part of a £203m deal, G4S was also awarded the contract to provide services to asylum seekers in the Midlands, the East of England and the North East.

Global outsourcing firm Serco was also awarded a contract to provide services for asylum seekers in the North West and Scotland and Ireland in five-year deals worth £175m in total.

The support services deals, which G4S said included two-year extension options, will replace the current services provided under the Government’s Target and Transport Plus contracts.

“These contracts will replace the current contracts that expire during 2012,” said the UK Border Agency.

“The new contracts will provide us with a good quality service and value for money.

“The contracts have been awarded as part of the commercial and operational managers procuring asylum support services (COMPASS) project.”

G4S, headed by chief executive Nick Buckles, is the world’s biggest security firm.

Stephen Small, managing director of immigration and borders at G4S Care & Justice Services, said: “We take the welfare of all people who receive our services extremely seriously.

“Asylum seekers are among the most vulnerable people in our society and we are committed to ensuring they are integrated into local communities with the minimum of disruption, and into housing which is safe, sanitary and fit for purpose.

“G4S will be delivering services largely through a carefully selected supply chain of experienced housing providers, which includes local private and voluntary sector housing organisations.

“We will use housing assessment specialists to drive up the standard of housing provided and employ dedicated social cohesion experts to work with local authorities, migrant support groups, health and education bodies.”

G4S said it has chosen United Property Management (UPM) as its main housing partner in England and charity Migrant Help as its partner from the voluntary sec- tor.

Under COMPASS it will provide three types of accommodation for asylum seekers: full board; flats or houses and Section 4 – for those refused asylum and due to be deported.