The Ministry of Justice has uncovered problems with two more G4S contracts following a review of its major contracts.
G4S and Serco have recently lost the electronic tagging contract to Capita due to their involvement in a row with government over billing practices on that led to the MoJ being overcharged by millions of pounds. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) Is conducting an investigation into G4S and Serco’s roles in the scandal, which has seen off a number of bosses at the companies.
After reviewing its 15 major contracts, with a total value of £3.9 billion, with all suppliers, the MoJ said that its audit of G4S contracts has uncovered problems with two contracts G4S holds for facilities management, which includes cleaning and maintenance, in 320 courts.
“Specifically, the audit revealed serious issues relating to invoicing, delivery and performance reporting against both contracts,” the MoJ said.
“While at this stage the department does not have evidence to confirm that dishonesty has taken place, they have today, following legal advice, referred both matters to the Serious Fraud Office in order to establish whether this is the case.”
The government also confirmed that it has asked G4S to produce and implement a corporate renewal plan that has been advised on by independent advisors and the government’s Oversight Group.
In a statement, G4S said: "The MoJ has advised G4S that the Ministry does not have any evidence of dishonesty in relation to these contracts. Furthermore, G4S has no evidence of such conduct.
The cross Government review found no evidence of deliberate acts or omissions by G4S in relation to charging and billing arrangements on its major contracts.
"We take the MoJ’s concerns very seriously and the company has recently strengthened the service management team on the court FM contracts and continues to work closely with the MoJ to ensure that G4S delivers a facilities management service to the courts that reflects the high standards of performance which G4S expects to provide to all customers."
The news comes as Serco agreed to pay back the MoJ £68.5 million as part of the electronic tagging overcharging scandal.