Olympics security firm under fire after failing to employ enough staff14/07/2012 - 09:06:39
Security firm G4S said today it will meet the full cost of deploying thousands of extra troops to the London Olympics after it failed to supply sufficient numbers of security guards.
In a statement late last night, the company disclosed that it stood to lose up to £50m (€63m) on its £284m contract with the Games organisers, Locog, as a result of the fiasco.
Chief executive Nick Buckles today confirmed that they would be facing a penalty payment “in the range” of £10 to £20m as a result of the firm’s failure to meet its commitments.
However he said that the bulk of the loss would come from paying the Ministry of Defence to supply 3,500 additional troops to make up the shortfall.
“We accept that we underestimated the task of supplying staff for the Olympics. We deeply regret that,” Mr Buckles told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
Yesterday British Prime Minister David Cameron said that firms who failed to deliver on their contracts to the games should have to bear the cost.
“I’m absolutely clear that if companies don’t deliver on their contract then they should be pursued for that money,” the Prime Minister said.
G4S was initially contracted by Locog in 2010 to provide 2,000 security staff for £86m, but that figure has since risen to 10,400 personnel in a contract now worth £284m.
Mr Buckles has now been summoned to appear before the Commons Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday to explain to MPs what had gone wrong.
A total of 17,000 servicemen and women will now be involved in the Olympics, including 11,800 soldiers, 2,600 sailors and marines, and 2,600 airmen.
Some 11,000 of these will be involved in the security of more than 30 sporting venues and some 70 non-competition venues, including car parks and hotels, while others will carry out specialist support roles including air security, search teams, communications and logistics.
Overall, a 23,700-strong security force for the Games will include a mix of military, private security guards and at least 3,000 unpaid London 2012 volunteers.
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