Nick Buckles tells MPs G4S will claim its multi-million management fee despite Olympics ’shambles’
The chief executive of G4S has insisted his company will still claim its £57 million management fee for security at the Olympic Games, even though the company has presided over a “humiliating shambles”.
Nick Buckles faced repeated criticism from a committee of MPs as he struggled to explain how the company had failed to fulfil its contractual obligations to provide more than 10,000 security guards for the Olympic Games.
That failure has forced ministers to assign thousands of soldiers and police officers to basic security duties. Mr Buckles told the Commons home affairs committee that his firm would meet all the Government’s additional costs for those deployments, and was prepared to fund bonuses for troops assigned to Olympic duties if commanders thought it appropriate.
However, he made clear that he believed his firm was still entitled to its fee for managing the security arrangements for the Games. G4S holds a £284 million contract to provide security staff for the Games, which includes a £57 million “management fee”. Challenged to waive that fee, Mr Buckles insisted it should still be paid.
“We’ve managed the contract and we’ve had management on the ground for two years,” he said. “We still expect to deliver a significant number of staff.” Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the committee, told Mr Buckles his stance on the fee was “astonishing”.
That exchange followed questioning in which Mr Buckles offered an abject assessment of his company’s performance over the Games. When it was put to Mr Buckles that the affair had become a “humiliating shambles,” he replied: “I cannot disagree with you.”
The chief executive also faced personal embarrassment during his 90-minute appearance, frequently appearing hesitant or uncertain about details of the security operation. At one point, Mr Buckles said he was unable to say if his staff spoke “fluent English” because “I don’t know what fluent English is”.
G4S employs more than 600,000 people worldwide, and Mr Buckles insisted that the £284 million contract was “financially not a huge issue” for his firm.
Instead of hoping to make money, he said, the company bid for the Olympic work to enhance its global image.
Instead, the debacle has become a worldwide embarrassment for the firm, whose shares have fallen by almost a fifth since its Olympic troubles were revealed last week. Mr Buckles admitted the affair had left his company’s reputation “in tatters”.
As a result of the London experience, G4S will now not bid for security work at the 2014 football world cup or the 2016 Olympics.
Mr Buckles told the MPs he was “deeply sorry” for the company’s performance, but rejected their suggestions that he should resign over the affair.
He said: “It’s not about me; it’s about delivering the contract. I’m the right person to ensure that happens.”
Latest News from our Front Page
Estonia must accept African & Middle Eastern immigrants says politician
Kalle Laanet, an Estonian politician, spoke at the International Migration Forum held in Tallinn. He told the audience that the question is not: Should Estonia take the African and the Middle Eastern immigrants (who illegally entered Southern Europe)? He said the question is: How will Estonia take the immigrants?
â€œToday the issue is not whether Estonia should receive the refugees coming to ...
Rescuing Palmyra: History's lesson in how to save artefacts
With Islamic State militants now inside the historic town of Palmyra in Syria, the question, inevitably, is whether they will destroy the ancient ruins.
As IS continues to sweep through parts of Iraq and Syria, damage to centuries-old artefacts - because IS sees statues and shrines as idolatrous - is plentiful.
But history has shown that, when culturally important sites are under ...
Saudi Arabia Wants to Convert Sweden to Islam
Aje Carlbom is an Associate Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Malmö
Since the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has actively spread its interpretation of Islam, Wahhabism or Salafism, worldwide. It is the most literal version of Islam and affects many young Muslims, who regard society as a place to Islamize, writes social anthropologist Aje Carlbom.
Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot WallstrÃ¶m was ...
Professor: If You Read To Your Kids, You're 'Unfairly Disadvantaging' Others
According to a professor at the University of Warwick in England, parents who read to their kids should be thinking about how they're "unfairly disadvantaging other people's children" by doing so.
In an interview with ABC Radio last week, philosopher and professor Adam Swift said that since "bedtime stories activities . . . do indeed foster and produce . . ...
If You Read About Conspiracies You're Just Like Osama Bin Laden Apparently
At its heart, the story of Osama bin Laden's time at his house in Abbottabad is surreal. The American image of bin Laden - leering at us from under his head wrap as he plots and schemes - is undermined by the mundane realities of his life. The guy was responsible for murdering thousands of Americans and orchestrating a global ...
|More News » |