Serco paid £1.1 million for running empty children's prison

Date: 
Friday, 23 October, 2015

The Ministry of Justice paid Serco £1.1 million for running a secure children's unit after it was closed and the remaining children had either been transferred or released, The Guardian reports. Serco ran Hassockfield training centre since it opened in 1999, and continued to receive payments for seven weeks after it closed on 20 November 2014.

Serco, along with another outsourcing giant, G4S, have come under scrutiny a number of times in recent years for receiving questionable payments from the Ministry of Justice. In 2013 both companies were found to have been overcharging the Ministry of Justice for electronic monitoring of convicted law-breakers and were put under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

Earlier this year the Centre revealed that both companies had continued to receive millions of pounds for leasing their tagging equipment to the Ministry of Justice even after they had been banned from the contracts. Prisons Minister Andrew Selous later announced that G4S and Serco would continue to receive these payments for at least another year while new GPS tagging equipment is developed.