I would like to provide the House with an update on the Ministry of Justice’s electronic monitoring contracts, and specifically on interim arrangements that have been put in place to help prepare for implementation of the next generation of contracts next year.
The House will recall that I made a statement on 11 July 2013 about significant anomalies in the billing practices under the current contracts with G4S and Serco. Members will be aware that these matters are now the subject of a criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.
My Department’s current contractual arrangements with G4S and Serco for the delivery of electronic monitoring services are due to expire on 31 March 2014. To ensure continuity of service from that point until the new contracts come into effect later in 2014, we have signed a contract with Capita to take over the management of the existing electronic monitoring services on an interim basis. This will mean that management of these services, which are now operated by G4S and Serco, will transition to Capita by the end of the current financial year. Under these arrangements, Capita will be using the systems and equipment of G4S and Serco, but the two companies will no longer have a direct role in delivering the service on the ground.
Capita is one of our preferred bidders in the ongoing competition for electronic monitoring contracts and, if negotiations and testing with the company conclude to our satisfaction, will take responsibility for the monitoring and field staff under the next generation of electronic monitoring.
The interim arrangements announced today mark an important step from our existing contracts towards the next generation of electronic tagging, which will introduce the most advanced technology in the world and deliver better value for the taxpayer.