Olympic security debacle stunning example of privatisation failurePublish By Robert Valenti Updated 19/07/2012 9:16 am in Opinion / no comments
PSA MEDIA RELEASE
19th July 2012 – For Immediate Use
The company at the centre of the Olympic security debacle in Britain tendered for the contract to run the private prison in Auckland and is a stunning example of privatisation failure, according to the Public Service Association.
G4S was a major bidder for the contract to run Auckland’s Mt Eden Corrections Facility. The contract was awarded to another overseas company Serco, which is also failing to meet a number of its key performance targets with escapes, wrongful releases and wrongful detention of inmates.
“What is happening in Britain with G4S’s spectacular failure to deliver on its contract just two weeks out from the Olympics should wash away any misconceptions on the part of the New Zealand government that the private sector can do thing better or more efficiently,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.
G4S failure to provide the 10,000 security personnel needed for the Olympics means the British government now has to deploy thousands of soldiers to do the job.
Brenda Pilott says it raises huge questions about the value and wisdom of privatising or outsourcing core public sector responsibilities in the misguided belief that the private sector can do things more efficiently and cheaply.
“You’ve got a private firm being given an enormous contract which at the last minute turns around and says it can’t deliver. G4S still walks away with the money for managing the contract while the public sector and the taxpayer are left to pick up the pieces and the added cost.”
“New Zealand is being exposed to the same risks as the government continues to push ahead with its privatisation agenda,” she says.
“Serco has been handed millions of dollars to run the Mt Eden facility and is already underperforming, yet the government is still happy to give it the go-ahead to run the new $900 million prison at Wiri which is due to open in 2015.”
“The British experience just goes to show that serving the interests of overseas private profit instead of the interests of the public, can end up being a very costly mistake.”