Friday, 12 July 2013

As I was saying ......

Last week I speculated about the future of outsourcing, and pointed out some of its perils.  Now comes vindication with the story of G4S and Serco having overcharged the government massively on their contracts to tag offenders.  Because G4S is apparently not co-operating fully with the government's investigation, Chris Grayling is calling in the cops.  With new contracts in the pipeline, Serco have said they won't bid for them - but Capita plans to do so.  Unless a foreign company throws its hat in the ring, that's it.  There are no other companies in a position to bid.
We learned today that, between them, Serco and G4S get £1.5 billion a year from the may contracts like this that they have.  And in total outsourcing is worth more than £80 billion a year.  That's our money.  Some are now putting the blame for messes like the tagging contracts on the poor skills of those civil servants who are supposed to manage and monitor them.  Well, maybe, but that's inevitable.  They are hugely outgunned by the companies.


  1. G4S and Serco are also involved in W2W and aren't a4e involved with prison education or something...

  2. The sad thing that this has become the "Norm" Bankers,Politicians ,PFI. It has happened so often with only a slap on the hand if caught that the risk is slight,but the reward is great.

    If you are unemployed and do not show up for an appointment,even through no error on your part you are punished with some with extreme results,if you even are accused of fraud you are punished until proven innocent,a bit lopsided.

  3. The problem is those responsible for these contracts are not the sharpest tools in the shed,calling them Idiots would be wrong,the real Idiots would be insulted.

    Emma Harrison has disappeared and although I dislike her she has a brilliant sense of self preservation,she has distanced herself from A4E while retaining her millions and can now claim she knew nothing(which is true,bloody clueless) how soon before the likes of IDS slink off and leave somebody else holding the bag?

  4. G4s must be the biggest bunch of charlatans going, even bigger than A4e at thieving money from Government contracts. They not only mess their Olympic contract up but also murder people in their care and charge the taxpayer to electronically tag the cold dead carcass of their victim!

  5. The One True Elg13 July 2013 at 00:01

    The CBI is dropping hints this was the Civil Servants fault, rather than G4S or Serco's. From the FT:

    ''The CBI, the UK’s largest business organisation, said: “Serco and G4S have been raising concerns about the quality of offender data for some time. At this time, it’s difficult to know what part government procurement may have played.”''

    The article goes on to cite think tanks who think the Civil Service is, essentially useless on such matters. Fits with government rhetoric about the civil service, expect this to be pinned on them to help justify some sort of shake up and outsourcing/procurement to go on business as usual.

  6. The flak being directed at the civil service makes me wonder if a counter-intuitive result of this might be more out-sourcing rather than less. Don't just contract out delivery but also the design, procurement and management of services, because after all, the private sector has repeatedly shown it can run rings around the public. It'd be nonsensical and the last thing I'd like to see, but almost nothing would surprise me.

    With regard to the outsourcers in general, I don't buy the ministerial incredulity - you'd have to be almost unbelievably naive to believe that the primary purpose of companies like that isn't to pull their customers' pants down. I don't necessarily believe in the public service ethos as being universal and nor do I believe that Serco, G4S et al are run entirely by crooks (I know staff at all levels at those companies and their peers, and they have a lot of decent people) but if I was in need of a vital service, I know which sector I'd prefer to rely on.

  7. More evidence that the private sector is bent. Really, what level of corruption between govt and the private sector is it going to take for the British people to get angry? Oh, wait a's another...'David Cameron link to tobacco giants leads to policy change'. This is the most corrupt govt EVER and it will get worse, believe me.


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