UK

Security firm G4S expects full Olympic Games payment

  • 11 September 2012
  • From the section UK

The head of security firm G4S has said he expects the firm to be paid the full £235m contract for the Olympics despite the problems over staffing.

Nick Buckles told MPs that he expected Games organisers to pay "exactly in line with the contract".

Locog chief Paul Deighton earlier said it had paid G4S £90m up to 13 July, but nothing since the firm had said it could not deliver all the staff needed.

He said the remaining part of the £235m contract was now "up for negotiation".

G4S admitted last month that the Olympic contract had cost it £50m after it failed to deliver the 10,400 Olympic security guards needed in time.

The government was forced to turn to the military for the extra staff, for which G4S confirmed it would pay.

At a previous appearance before MPs, Mr Buckles apologised for the debacle. It had also been revealed that the company's interim results showed half-year pre-tax profits fell from £151m to £61m.

When he appeared before the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday, Mr Buckles reiterated his pledge to meet the extra costs incurred by the police and armed forces to fill the gap.

He also said there had been significant extra costs and the firm expected to incur penalties. He added there would be no profit from the Olympic Games contract and repeated that G4S expected to see a £50m loss on it.

Speaking about G4S, Mr Deighton told the committee: "We stopped paying them just after they told us they weren't delivering, so we didn't pay them again after 13 July."

The Locog chief executive said all the money that had been paid to G4S so far was public money.

Mr Deighton said G4S had told Locog on 11 July that it would not be able to provide enough security staff for the Olympics. That was just over two weeks before the Games started.

He said G4S staff shortages during the Games had been 4% at best and 35% at worst.

Lord Coe, London 2012 chairman, told the committee: "It is difficult to look beyond their inability to deliver on the contracted number of security personnel that we were consistently assured by them that they would be able to deliver."

Lord Coe said he did not believe that G4S had deliberately misled Locog.

Charles Farr, head of security and counter-terrorism at the Home Office, was more critical of the firm, saying that before 11 July it had given no clue it would struggle to meet the contract.

"We were given sets of data which gave no indication whatever, even as late as 1 July, that there was going to be a problem fulfilling that contract. That data was what G4S relied upon to explain the progress of their programme," he told the committee.

G4S has said in a statement that it had had 8,000 staff on the ground over the course of the Olympics and it had delivered 83% of contracted shifts.

It added that in many cases, the military were able to be taken off duties at some Olympic sites as more security staff became available.

Mr Buckles told MPs at a previous appearance that the staffing crisis had been a "humiliating shambles".

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