You would think that, in the week of the Maria Miller scandal, the Conservative-led Coalition would spurn any contact with people or organisations responsible for financial irregularity in connection with the government – right?
Wrong: Here’s G4S.
(You really need to be playing the Soundcloud clip – above – to get the full effect of this article. The song is the G4S anthem ‘Securing Your World’; it is sub-Bon Jovi cheese that sets you up perfectly for the facts about the firm.)
G4S is the company that famously failed to meet the terms of a contract to provide security guards for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. This was a brutal embarrassment to our privatise-everything Government because it had to call in public servants – the Army – to do the work instead.
Not content with that cock-up, in July last year the Serious Fraud Office launched an investigation into G4S after it was alleged that the company was overcharging for the electronic ‘tagging’ of criminals in England and Wales. It was claimed that the company was charging for people who were in prison, outside the UK, and also for people who were dead.
It seems highly unlikely that there was any danger of this last group absconding.
The company agreed to pay £109 million back to the Treasury, which is as good an admission of guilt as any. G4S breached its contract; in fairness it should have paid back all monies provided to it by the UK government.
That was last November. Now – less than six months later – Francis Maude wants us to believe G4S has cleaned up its act and is worthy of our trust once again. Seriously.
For this reason alone it is worth checking whether Mr Maude has shares in the company.
Our government of crooks couldn’t wait to get back into cahoots with this company of crooks, could they? Delaying new contract bids until the start of the 2014-15 financial year was as much as they could manage.
If you ran a firm that behaved in this manner, you would face civil action for breach of contract and possibly criminal action for fraud – profiting from false claims. You would most likely be barred from ever bidding for such contracts again, and possibly even from working in the same industry for the rest of your career.
Yet here’s G4S, Securing More… well, you can read the headline.
It all bodes well for Maria Miller. Accepting her resignation, we are to understand, David Cameron made it perfectly clear that he would have the fraudster back in his Cabinet just as soon as he possibly could.
Villainy loves company.
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
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