3 Venue security costs |
7. In our March 2012 report we noted that the
cost of providing venue security at the Games had nearly doubled
from £282 million at the time of the Government's 2010 Spending
Review to £553 million in December 2011. In response to the
Committee's concerns about the increased costs, the Department's
position has been that it was not possible to produce final costs
before the detailed venue plans and competition schedules were
drawn up, and that that the costs would not have been different
from where they are now had it been possible to produce a more
accurate assessment earlier.
8. We are not convinced. We are not security
experts, but the sheer scale of the increase in the number of
guards required in barely more than a year from 10,000 to over
23,000, coupled with the fact that LOCOG entered a commercial
contract on the basis of the earlier estimates and then had to
renegotiate the terms of that contract within a year, does not
give us confidence in the management of this aspect of the preparations
for the Games. Accountability for monitoring security arrangements
is unclear and there is insufficient challenge for service providers.
Further, the rise in programme management and operational costs
over the year more than twelve fold from £10 million to £125
million has yet to be convincingly justified to us.
9. When we reported, in March 2012 that the Ministry
of Defence had agreed to provide 7,500 military personnel to work
as security guards during the Games; this was in addition to around
3,300 civilian volunteers. The remaining requirement for around
13,000 was to be supplied by G4S. LOCOG and the Home Office told
us that they were confident that G4S would be able to provide
all the required private sector security guards. We concluded,
however, that LOCOG and G4S faced a significant challenge to recruit,
train and coordinate all the security guards in time for the Games.
10. On 12 July, just two weeks before the opening
ceremony, the Government announced that G4S was unable to provide
the contracted number of security guards. As a direct result,
the Government authorised the deployment of a further 3,500 military
personnel to fill the gap. This will bring the total number of
military personnel supporting security at the Games to 17,000.
We acknowledge that it seems an effective contingency plan is
being implemented. However, we are concerned that, despite previous
assurances, G4S will receive substantial sums of public money
without providing the contracted number of guards. Value for taxpayers'
money demands that G4S not only pays for all additional costs
incurred by the Government, but also incurs financial penalties
for the failure to deliver. We will return to this matter as a
priority after the Games.