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Point of Order

Volume 570: debated on Wednesday 20 November 2013

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Have you had any indication from the Justice Secretary on whether he intends to come to the House and make a statement to clear up the confusion regarding the announcement by G4S yesterday that it has been overcharging for services it is contracted to provide to the Ministry of Justice? The confusion is twofold. First, there have been reports in the press that G4S has offered to repay roughly £23 million to the MOJ, but that that has been refused. I think hon. Members would want to know the reason for that. Secondly, on the proposed changes to the probation service, last week on Second Reading the Under-Secretary of State for Justice, the hon. Member for Kenilworth and Southam (Jeremy Wright), who has responsibility for prisons and the probation service, indicated that

“if…G4S do not come out satisfactorily from the audit processes, which this Government instituted, they will not receive any contracts.”—[Official Report, 11 November 2013; Vol. 570, c. 744.]

We need to know whether the MOJ is now excluding G4S from that process.

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his point of order. He speaks both as a concerned constituency Member and a former Prisons Minister. The short answer is that I have received no indication that any Minister intends to come to the House to make a statement on the matter. My recollection from the media coverage is that the issue is one of ongoing investigation, but the words uttered by the right hon. Gentleman in his usual measured terms will have been heard on the Treasury Bench. We shall have to leave it there for today.