It appears that, even after the complete failure of G4S to deliver on its contractual obligations, Nick Buckles believes that it is still acceptable to claim the full £57m management fee for the Olympic security contract. Acknowledging that the reputation of his company was in tatters, and that their handling of the contract was a ‘humiliating shambles’ Buckles was questioned about the fees by Keith Vaz (Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee) who said it was astonishing that G4S should consider claiming anything at all in light of the cataclysmic failings.
It will now come down to several Police forces including Dorset, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Northumbria, South Wales, Strathclyde, West Midlands, Thames Valley and Greater Manchester, in company with the Army and even 500 FBI agents, flown in specially from the USA, to cover the shortfall. The expected levels of Police officer numbers filling in the gaps left by G4S, believed to be in the region of 13,000, will be almost on a par with levels required to tackle the rioting in London and elsewhere last year, and will no doubt have a significant knock-on effect within the forces supplying officers for Olympic security duties. This will compound existing issues caused by frontline reductions over the last 12 months caused by Winsor’s budget reductions.
Buckles, who earned £830,000 last year, is not expected to stand down from his position despite the public humiliation and the detrimental financial effect recent events have had on his company – a brave move considering there has been a 5% drop in G4S share prices over the last week or so. Not surprisingly he hung his head, admitting that he regretted signing the contract in the first place.
Below is an extract from the coverage of the meeting. ‘Lamb’ and ‘slaughter’ spring to mind.
With only days to go now and parts of London looking like they have been transformed into war zones, we will just have to wait with our fingers crossed and see how things pan out. Let’s hope that West Midlands Federation Chair, Ian Edwards wasn’t right when he said the situation was going to be ‘Chaos, absolute chaos’ and that Al Qaeda don’t read the UK News – they might think we are a soft, disorganised and under-protected nation.