Press release

Review of government G4S and Serco contracts

A government-wide review of contracts held by G4S and Serco has been announced in response to an independent audit within the Ministry of Justice.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, today announced a government-wide review of contracts held by G4S and Serco.

The review was prompted by the findings of an independent audit within the Ministry of Justice, as outlined by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in the House of Commons today.

The Cabinet Office, which has cross-government responsibility for procurement, will therefore conduct a review into government-held G4S and Serco contracts to ensure that contracts are well-managed and in good order. This will complement existing work on strengthening commercial capability across government to determine how we can make further improvements.

Francis Maude said:

The public rightly expects government suppliers to meet the highest standards, and for taxpayers’ money to be spent properly and transparently.

As a result of what the Justice Secretary outlined earlier today, I am launching an immediate review into government-held G4S and Serco contracts.

The Cabinet Office has worked hard to drive up the standard of commercial capability, including contract management, across government. We will redouble our efforts and strive to achieve the best value for taxpayers.

The review will be led by Bill Crothers, the government’s Chief Procurement Officer. A steering group will be drawn from government non-executive directors, members of the Commercial Relationships Board and senior officials from elsewhere in government, as well as independent advisers. It will report in the autumn. It is expected to deliver initial findings to the Minister for the Cabinet Office within weeks.

The government’s work to improve commercial capability has helped secure £3.8 billion of commercial savings last year alone. Reforms include:

  • establishing a Chief Procurement Officer based in the Cabinet Office
  • running a programme of supplier renegotiation
  • introducing Crown Representatives and a Commercial Relationships Board
  • publishing details of government contracts online as part of the transparency agenda
  • working to ensure that the whole of government operates as a single customer
  • collecting rigorous data and management information on suppliers
  • improving commercial capability through the civil service reform programme

Notes to editors

G4S and Serco hold a large number of contracts with government. Examples include:


BIS/National Physical Laboratory: annual value £47 million
Home Office/Colnbrook Immigration: annual value £23 million

Total value 2012 to 2013: ~£750 million


Home Office/Brook House Immigration Removal Centre: annual value £12 million DWP/Welfare to Work: annual value £42 million

Total value 2012 to 2013: ~£250 million

For more information, contact Amy Lawson on 0207 276 2270.

Terms of reference

Read the terms of reference for the cross-government review of major contracts.

Published 11 July 2013