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UK Government moves to blacklist poor outsourcers


The UK government has begun to classify outsourcers involved in public sector contracts, with those classified as ‘high risk’ effectively blacklisted from contracts. This comes Nick Buckles is expected to appear in front of the Commons’ home affairs committee today, in order to explain the failure of G4S in delivering on the Olympic security contract.

The enactment of the blacklist comes as economic pressures have forced the public sector to seek better efficiencies. Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has sought to secure better value from all future government contracts.

Already two IT companies have been written off from tendering for future public sector contracts. Fujitsu was classified as ‘high risk’ after a £900 million terminated contract to provide electronic patient records according to Financial Times sources.

The drive for private sector style attention to contracts and the willingness to ban poor outsourcing firms has been headed by Bill Crothers, formerly of Accenture and now chief procurement officer.

With the government prepared to blacklist outsourcers such as G4S who fail to deliver on contracts, today’s meeting will be closely monitored due to the public interest in the case and the multiple contracts that G4S is involved in. The company is a major supplier to the government, involved in contracts including police services, prison services and welfare services.

Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs committee, said: “G4S admitted to the committee earlier this summer that they had presided over a humiliating shambles at the Olympics,”  “It’s important that we look at their record across the board when awarding new contracts.”

Give the multiple contracts that G4S is currently involved in, and the contracts it has tendered for, It would be surprising for the company to be fully blacklisted, perhaps and smaller penalty or a period of greater oversight is a more realistic outcome to Whitehall’s investigation. 

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