G4S bids for prison contracts despite Olympics failure Embattled security group G4S is bidding for contracts worth more than £2bn to run five prisons. The revelation is likely to trigger a furore among the company's increasingly long list of critics and renew the often feverish debate about the extent to which the private sector should run public services.
News that the army and police have had to be drafted in to provide security at the Olympics because G4S is unable to fulfil its contract to supply 10,000 stewards has triggered calls for the company's chief executive, Nick Buckles, to resign.
Last week, MPs on the public accounts committee expressed concerns that management costs associated with the contract had soared from £10m to £125m, prompting concerns that the taxpayer was not getting value for money.
Now unions are questioning whether G4S's failures over the Olympics should preclude it from running more prisons.
G4S already operates Parc, Altcourse, Oakwood, Birmingham and Wolds prisons. But, under the government's Competition Strategy for Offender Services, announced in July 2011, it has emerged that it is also bidding to run Northumberland, Hatfield, Lindholme, Moorland and Onley prisons as well as to renew the contract for Wolds.