So it seems that outsourced security services are set to be investigated by the Serious Fraud Office for overcharging the government (read “robbing the taxpayer”) of tens of millions of pounds for tagging criminals. It rather looks as though the wrong people were being monitored. It’s painful to say it but this sort of thing would never happen in the public sector.
Time and again we have seen our national assets privatised or outsourced and then either become subject to massive public subsidy or made far more expensive to the public. This benefits precisely no-one but the shareholders and yet it seems that no lessons have been learnt as the UK’s car-boot sale of assets continues apace. Next up, the Royal Mail and the NHS – hell, what could possibly go wrong?
Still, at least we can be confident that this latest scandal will lead to a review of whether G4S and Serco ought to retain their status as preferred bidders to provide other services – such as running our nation’s prisons – and no doubt it will give justice secretary Chris Grayling cause to reflect on his plans to privatise our courts and probation services.