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G4S Security Fiasco To Be Probed

Home Secretary says Olympic Security guard shortfall, which led to police officers plugging the gap, will be probed

A report has been commissioned into what went wrong at security firm G4S before the Olympic Games after hundreds of extra officers and military personnel were brought in to make up a security guard shortfall.

The security giant has commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct a review on behalf of its UK board, the Home Affairs Select Committee heard.

This will look into the failure to provide 10,400 security guards at the games on behalf of LOCOG.

However it is understood that the review will not be ready before G4S CEO Nick Buckles reappears before the committee on September 11 - as part of an inquiry into what went wrong.

Mr Buckles had already been grilled before the committee in July and even agreed to look into giving police officers a bonus for their work completed in place of G4S staff. Whether the bonus is likely to materialise could be clarified at the hearing on September 11.

Home Secretary Theresa May told the committee on September 6 that she understood senior managers at the firm had not known themselves about the shortfall until just two weeks before the Games.

She had a telephone conversation with Mr Buckles on July 6 where he said there could be issues with “scheduling arrangements”.

Mrs May said: “He assured me it was an internal issue which would be resolved by early the following week.”

But on July 10 - just a day before the fiasco came to light - Mrs May had a face-to-face meeting with Mr Buckles at the Home Office where he raised further concerns. But he claimed they could still be worked out.

Mrs May said the Home Office had been “constantly looking” at the G4S training schedule, which in June had more than 20,000 names on the list.
The committee heard, however, that there had been doubts as to personnel availability because up-to-date checks were not made.

Although the contract was officially between LOCOG and G4S, Mrs May said the government had a duty to “test it” - as it had overall responsibility for security at the Games.

Committee member David Winnock asked whether the Home Office may have been “complacent” over checking security guard provision.

Four separate reports had been commissioned into the security situation before the revelations came to light – two by HMIC on behalf of the government – and a further two by KPMG and Deloitte.

Mrs May responded: “We were not complacent.

“We commissioned HMIC to do this work to make sure we could have the assurance we were looking for.

“The first report raised some issues (with G4S) - we then asked them to look again at what happened as a result of the first report.”

Mrs May said the second HMIC report had shown progress being made.

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