14 March 2014 by Kathleen Hall
MoJ singled out in damning review of government contracting
[…] The report says it was ‘shocking’ that it took the ministry eight years to spot overcharging by G4S and Serco for the tagging of prisoners.
It also said fines of ‘a mere £2,200’ to Capita over its inadequate supply of interpreters to the court service did ‘not come close to taking into account the cost to the criminal justice system and to individuals caused by their failure to deliver’.
Margaret Hodge MP (pictured), the committee's chair, said the government must ‘urgently get its house in order.’
She said: ‘Recent scandals illustrate the failure of some contractors to live up to expected standards.’ She said these include the ‘astonishing news’ of the G4S and Serco overcharging.
The report calls for the extension of the Freedom of Information Act to include public contracts with private providers to tackle the lack of openness around government contracts.
Hodge said leading outsourcers G4S, Atos, Serco and Capita have said they are prepared to accept these measures. ‘It therefore appears that the main barriers to greater transparency lie within government itself.’