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Outsourcing: Forces Consider G4S Alternative

Three forces to examine alternative private partner to G4S – despite potential extra cost

Three forces are considering collaborating with a private company other than G4S in the wake of the Olympic security fiasco – but they have admitted that they could be forced to embark on a new and costly procurement process to find a suitable partner.

Hertfordshire Constabulary, Bedfordshire Police and Cambridgeshire Constabulary had been looking at joining the contract between Lincolnshire Police and G4S, which saw more than 500 staff switch to the company in April this year.

But the Olympics scandal led the three forces to reconsider, although they still believe that outsourcing could be a means of making much-needed savings.

The forces’ chiefs recently met representatives of the police authorities and expressed concerns that partnering with G4S “may not fully meet the specific needs for the effective and efficient delivery of organisational support services”.

They will commission extra work to look at the firm’s suitability for the role and police authority representatives will meet again in mid-August to examine the findings.

The forces said they would create an alternative business case to compliment the proposed partnership with G4S. It will fall to the Police and Crime Commissioners to decide which to pursue when they arrive in office in November.

“This decision is based on the detailed work done to date with G4S in connection with the Lincolnshire framework contract. The meeting took place against the backdrop of recent events relating to the Olympics,” a Bedfordshire Police statement said.

If they ultimately choose not to partner with G4S, the forces would have to embark on their own procurement process in an effort to find a suitable partner.

PoliceOracle.com understands the Lincolnshire Police procurement process with G4S cost it roughly £1.1m and lasted from March to December 2011.

At the time West Midlands and Surrey Police embarked on their own private procurement process – the total maximum cost was estimated to be some £5m.

Speaking on behalf of the three forces, a Hertfordshire Constabulary spokeswoman declined comment on the potential cost of a procurement process as no final decisions had been made.

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