Following the electronic tagging scandal where it emerged recently that G4S and Serco had been overcharging the taxpayer by tens of millions of pounds for services which they had not provided, it has been announced that the Ministry of Justice will award the contract for electronic tagging to Capita. Capita will take on GBP 400 million worth of contracts for both field services and as the overall systems integrator.
Capita’s chief executive Paul Pindar said: “When fully live, this is expected to be the largest, single and most advanced `tagging’ system in the world. This integrated service will play a key role in providing better alternatives to short prison sentences, allowing more tailored curfew and location monitoring, and better management of subjects under electronic monitoring orders. It will offer a balance of monitoring and mentoring and help to achieve the government’s broader objective of reducing re-offending while being run to the highest possible standards of governance and transparency.”
When the scandal hit, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said he was astonished that two of the governments biggest suppliers had behaved in this way. He said: “It included charges for people who were back in prison and had had their tags removed, people who had left the country, and those who had never been tagged in the first place but who had instead been returned to court. There are a small number of cases where charging continued for a period when the subject was known to have died. In some instances, charging continued for a period of many months and indeed years after active monitoring had ceased.”
Serco agreed at the time to an independent forensic audit of the contract to find out what happened, and withdrew from the tender process for the next electronic monitoring contracts. G4S refused to withdraw from the tendering process and would not agree to the forensic audit.