Serco and G4S are both being investigated for corruption by the British Serious Fraud Office. Serco operates privatized services in Canada such as passenger and baggage screening at airports, parolee electronic monitoring systems, driver testing, life insurance agent certification as well as security guard/private investigator accreditation services.
Ottawa (06 Dec. 2013) – The lack of response from either British or Canadian governments to a privatization scandal fits with a concern raised by the British National Audit Office that governments have become so dependent on large corporations running privatized services that they are no longer able to hold them accountable.
“While the National Audit Office report suggested the companies were “too big to fail”, “too big to punish” may be more accurate”, said NUPGE National President James Clancy.
Privatization companies investigated for fraud
Serco and G4S are both being investigated for corruption by the British Serious Fraud Office. This follows allegations that both companies overcharged the British Ministry of Justice for electronic monitoring of offenders by millions of pounds.
This follows a finding by the British National Audit Office last year that Serco falsified data 252 times for a privatized medical service it ran after it failed to meet quality requirements.
In Canada Serco and G4S run services where honesty and accountability are vital
In Canada, G4S holds the contract for passenger and baggage screening at airports. The safety of everyone getting on a plane in Canada depends on those services.
Among the services Serco provides is electronic monitoring systems for parolees in four provinces – British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador. This is the same type of service where the allegations of fraud are being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office in Britain.
Serco also run Ontario's privatized driver testing, life insurance agent certification, and security guard/private investigator accreditation services.
Governments still allowing Serco and G4S to run privatized public services
Governments in Canada seem to ignore the fact that two companies running privatized services where security and protection of personal information are concerns are under investigation for fraud. The British government is still letting Serco and G4S bid to take over services being privatized. The only restriction is no new contracts will be awarded until the investigation is complete and one privatization plan was cancelled.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE