G4S’s disregard for law bites back
Three short press releases from the StopG4S campaign are followed by two pieces from professional outsourcing news sources on G4S’s slump in profits and share price for the last financial year.
Protest outside G4S HQ in London, January 2014
G4S guards will face prosecution for the death of Jimmy Mubenga
Press release, StopG4S
March 21, 2014
Campaigners today welcomed the decision by the CPS that it is in the public interest to prosecute the three G4S custody officers in relation to the death in their custody of Jimmy Mubenga. Jimmy Mubenga was an Angolan asylum seeker, married with 5 children, who worked as a fork lift driver. He was due to be deported on 10th October 2010, but he never left Heathrow. On the British Airways flight to Angola, he was heard to cry out ‘Help me I am dying’. As his wife Adrienne Kambana says: ‘He died alone like an animal’.
Jimmy Mubenga, b. c1964 Angola, arrived in UK 1994, died October 2010.
Campaigners recognise that the CPS has now had the opportunity to review the material in their possession, following the resounding unlawful killing verdict at the inquest in July 2013 and they have arrived at the correct decision. The family of Jimmy Mubenga is relieved that after a long and painful period of trauma, justice will at last be seen to be done. Adrienne Kambana made her feelings plain ‘I am so happy today. After this long period of waiting and my despair that the CPS would not recognise what really happened and take action, I feel that myself and my children will at last see justice done and will be able to move on with our lives’.
The time is surely ripe for the law to be so drafted that companies whose employees are alleged to have committed the ultimate crimes will face the same charges as the individuals they employ. Statutory authorities too have a responsibility to consider carefully whether these tarnished corporations are fit to be employed in the public sector.
For further information please contact: Diana Neslen (StopG4S Campaign Coordinator)
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07951 566 706; or Mit on 07972 850 143.
Below, protest in Sheffield outside the UK Border Agency HQ after G4S won contracts to house asylum seekers. Photo by South Yorkshire Migration & Asylum Action Group
G4S won’t guard BBC
Press release, StopG4S
March 21, 2014
G4S will not supply the BBC in a 3 year £80m security guarding contract covering all major UK sites.
Campaigners had been pressuring the BBC not to award G4S the contract given its track record of human rights abuses in the UK, Palestine, South Africa,Australia and beyond.
The winning bidder First Security is owned by Interserve who also won a £150m facilities management contract for the corporation.
A potential G4S bid on the back of their contract to guard Media City in Salford was noted by the Palestinian Boycott National Committee  after a Contract Notice appeared in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Last April, an open letter to the BBC  signed by prominent artists, academics, and trade unionists was initiated by the Stop-G4S coalition, which includes Palestine solidarity, asylum and migrant support groups, and anti-privatisation campaigners.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign launched an online petition and by January over 2000 viewers and listeners had contacted the BBC in response.
Stop-G4S coordinator Diana Neslen welcomed the news. “Public bodies including local authorities can and should exclude G4S from bidding for public contracts, as their track record as a serial human rights abuser at home and abroad constitutes grave misconduct.”
Over the last year, the BBC refused to disclose which companies had actually bid for the security guarding contract, citing “commercial confidentiality”. An appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office was turned down.
G4S has held the security guarding contract at Media City in Salford since 2010. If G4S failed to bid for an £80m national contract with the BBC, it would suggest a loss of confidence by the company which calls itself the “world’s leading international security solutions group”, and whose motto is “Securing Your World”.
4 http://stopg4s.net/node/71, http://stopg4s.net/node/89
G4S and BBC security contract
Press release, StopG4S
March 21, 2014
Open Letter from prominent cultural figures, Palestinian and Israeli exiles demanding the BBC exclude G4S from bidding for an £80m security contract, because of its record of human rights abuses.
19 April 2013
We understand that the BBC is putting its security guarding services out to tender, seeking one provider for the whole BBC estate. Bids are due for submission by 23 April and the contract is to be awarded in 2014. It is also our understanding that G4S, which already provides security guards at Media City in Salford, may bid for the new national contract. We are writing to ask the BBC to exercise its legal rights under UK and EU legislation to exclude G4S from bidding for this or other contracts on the grounds of “grave misconduct”, in particular its complicity in the abuse of human rights.
G4S directly supports Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands through provision of guards to illegal settlements, and electronic systems in checkpoints as part of the illegal ‘Apartheid Wall’. It supplies security services to prisons and detention centres within Israel which hold Palestinian prisoners illegally transferred from the Occupied Territories in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention. These include children, despite the United Nations convention on the rights of the Child to which Israel is a signatory. There is compelling evidence of torture in some facilities supplied by G4S and that children are subject to continuing abuse.(see ) G4S therefore aids, abets and is complicit in Israel’s serious violations of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law (which may constitute war crimes) and as such G4S is guilty of grave misconduct.
Moreover, G4S has been fined for its contribution to the death of an Aboriginal elder in Australia, a case of criminal negligence. G4S guards were also implicated in the death of asylum seeker Jimmy Mubenga, who died following the use of ‘unauthorised and potentially dangerous restraint techniques’ by three G4S security guards, according to a report by the parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee. The outcome of the inquest is awaited.
The involvement of G4S in the misuse of force during the detention and removal of asylum seekers has been documented by Medical Justice, and the company’s abusive role in the recently privatised asylum housing market, and its failure to meet its contractual obligations, were exposed last month. Failure by G4S to heed warnings over a killer security guard who went on to murder colleagues in Iraq, was reported by the BBC.
The BBC has every right to take these matters into account during procurement. Under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006  a public body may reject a bid where the organisation has ‘committed grave misconduct in the course of their business or profession’. The Regulations derive from an EU Directive  which refers to ‘grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the contracting authorities can demonstrate’.
We hope that the BBC will recognise there is a public interest in excluding G4S from the tendering process. We believe the company deserves investigation and exposure rather than a new contract.
We would be interested in meeting with you to discuss any of these points.
126 signatures –for full list click here
Notes to Open Letter
3 http://www.whoprofits.org/company/group4securicor-g4s, http://whoprofits.org/sites/default/files/WhoProfits-PrivateSecurity-G4S…
9 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/5/regulation/23/made, see Clause 23 (4) (e)
10 Directive 2004/18/EC, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32004L0018:E…see Article 45 2.(d)
Ashley Amanza, who took over as CEO of G4S after Nick Buckles’ surprise resignation. He has presided over a statutory pre-tax loss of £170m from last year, from a profit of £313m in 2012.
By Professional Outsourcing magazine
March 13, 2014
It doesn’t get any better for outsourcing giant G4S – its latest financials show a loss of £170m before tax and it’s having to pay £109m after the tagging issue.
This, readers will remember, involved tagging offenders who were sometimes in the community as expected but some of whom were apparently in prison or even dead. No, look, it was serious, a number of the dead ones didn’t report in to their probation officers, that’s probably a useful statistic somewhere.
G4S will no doubt want this extra payment to be the end of the tagging issue but it’s far from the only problem the company has faced in recent times. In November 2011 it gave up on a bid to take over the Danish cleaning company, ISS; in July the following year it ‘rose’ to greater public prominence as it failed to provide enough staff for the Olympics and the army had to be drafted in. This offered stand-up comedians a new byword for incompetence anytime they wanted a cheap laugh.
A year later in July 2013 the tagging issue erupted as the company stood accused of overcharging the Government and tagging nonexistent, deceased or already-imprisoned offenders (we assume this meant ‘recording that it had tagged’ rather than actually tagging dead or nonexistent people); in December last year the Ministry of Justice found issues with the way the outsourcing partner had run its service for the courts and in January this year a watchdog found it was not providing proper housing for asylum seekers.
The end result has been an overhaul and business restructure costing some £386m, which has caused the new loss, which compares and contrasts with a £158m profit declared 12 months ago.
The company has said it hopes the settlement will enable it to continue as a preferred supplier for Government contracts, but as far as we can ascertain the State’s ban on the company even bidding for new contracts until there’s actual evidence of improvement remains in place. This, to be fair, seems a bit harsh. We can understand rejecting bids until there’s some definite recovery in place but actually banning the bid in the first place seems a little draconian.
By Will Green, Supply Management
March 13, 2014
G4S has agreed to pay the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) a total of £108.9 million in settlement over the electronic tagging scandal.
Justice secretary Chris Grayling told Parliament the agreement “recovers in full the money owed to the taxpayer”, but discussions between the Cabinet Office and G4S are ongoing over a programme of “corporate renewal”.
The sum also included £4.5 million to cover overpayments on two facilities management contracts for the courts service, said Grayling, while the Serious Fraud Office was still investigating the firm.
“In the event of criminal charges being brought we would consider whether further sums are due from G4S,” he said.
The move follows a MoJ settlement with Serco in December to repay £70.5 million for its failures in electronic tagging and prisoner escort services.
In November G4S announced an independent review of its tagging contract had “not identified any evidence of dishonesty or criminal conduct”.
Ashley Almanza, G4S group chief executive, said: “The way in which the electronic monitoring contract was billed was not consistent with the contract or the group’s values and we have apologised to the MoJ and the government. We have repaid all amounts overbilled and have implemented significant changes to strengthen contract management and controls and to ensure our business is always conducted in a manner which is consistent with our group values.
“We believe that the conclusion of this matter, together with the actions we are developing on corporate renewal, will enable us to maintain our position as a strategic supplier to government.”
Meanwhile, G4S has appointed Shaun Carroll as group procurement director with effect from 6 May. The role is new and has been created to “develop a global procurement approach”.