G4S, the global security group, was left ‘disappointed’ both by the decision to rule it out of the bidding process for eight new prison contracts and the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) intention not to renew G4S’s current contract at HMP Wolds, which the service provider has held since 1992. The MoJ has decided to move HPM Wolds to public sector management when the contract for expires in July 2013.
At the start of the competition process there were seven bidders: GEO, G4S, HMPS, Interserve, MTC/Amey, Serco and Sodexo.
The latest stage of the competition for eight prisons and a new approach to competing services across the public prison estate were announced by Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Justice on Thursday (8 November).
HMP Northumberland (an amalgamation of the former HMPs Castington and Acklington) and the South Yorkshire group of Moorland, Hatfield and Lindholme prisons will proceed to the next stage with three remaining bidders, Sodexo, Serco and MTC/Amey following the presentation of ‘a compelling package of reforms’ for delivering cost reduction, improvements to regimes and a working prisons model in these prisons.
This was not the case for HMPs Coldingley, Durham and Onley, so the competition for these prisons is not proceeding and they will remain in the public sector.
Additionally, in order to secure future cost reductions, all public sector prisons will be obliged to make additional efficiency savings and the prison service will make collective savings by competing ancillary services, such as maintenance and resettlement services. The Ministry of Justice has estimated that these changes will generate £450m savings over the next six years.
Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling said:
“The cost of running our prisons is too high and must be reduced. We can do this by being more innovative and efficient, and without compromising public safety.
“That is why I have decided to take a new approach to how we compete prison services and reduce unit costs across the prison estate that will lead to better value for the tax-payer, linked to more effective services to reduce reoffending.”
Following the announcement G4S issued the following statement:
“We are disappointed by today’s announcements.
“As the leading private provider of prison management in the UK, we have 20 years of experience of running prisons for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Our performance across all six prisons we run has been to a high standard with every aspect of performance either meeting or exceeding the Key Performance Indicators applied by the MoJ.
“We look forward to discussing the contract award decision with the MoJ within the next few days to determine why we were unsuccessful.”