Government over-reliant on G4S and Serco

Date: 
Wednesday, 10 December, 2014

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has released a report today warning that Government has become over-reliant on a quasi-monopoly of private sector companies.

Margaret Hodge, MP, Chair of the Commitee said that 'too often the ethical standards of contractors have been found wanting'. Highlighting the case of G4S and Serco overcharging the Ministry of Justice on electronic tagging contracts, she said this was 'the starkest illustration of both contractors’ failure to work in the public interest and government failure to safeguard taxpayers’ money.' 

In media reports, The Independent and BBC News highlight the fact that Government departments were still awarding contracts to G4S and Serco while at the same time being investigated for overcharging. 

Data published earlier this year in our UK Justice Policy Review report showed that contracts for prison and probation work in the UK are dominated by a few multinationals and large voluntary sector organisations. For further reading on the marketisation of criminal justice services, check out the September 2014 issue of Criminal Justice Matters magazine.