Philip Hammond finally gets a brain transplant

  carver 10:04 14 Aug 12

It seems that Philip Hammond has managed to grasp the simple idea that private firms and the army and police force are not exactly the same enter link description here I suppose it's better late than never.

What worries me is that the idea had not occurred to him before that G4S is a private firm employing civilians who can turn round at any time and say "stuff your job" which is what happened with the Olympics.

This time he got away with it but in a few months time he is going to make a lot of army personal redundant, it's a good thing it didn't happen before the games.

I thought the idea that some one who is in a position of power should have more than 2 working brain cells.

  johndrew 10:26 14 Aug 12

You have two fundamental points in this subject:

  1. Such an agreement as made with G4S for the Olympics is a contract which is enforceable by law and may be subject to penalties if not fulfilled.

  2. The public sector (basically Government Departments) are very poor when it comes to negotiating contracts.

As a result G4S appear to have obtained a contract where all the benefits are on their side with little in the way of penalties if they failed to perform.

Such contracts are far from uncommon as those for military equipment, trains and similar demonstrate.

What is required are good negotiators employed by Government to obtain a balanced contract and a good enforcement of the contracts with substantial financial and other penalties. Such a system would minimise the likes of the recent G4S problems.

  carver 10:42 14 Aug 12

johndrew you are now talking like a politician, complete and utter rubbish without saying any thing that means any thing.

"Such contracts are far from uncommon as those for military equipment, trains and similar demonstrate"

We are not talking about a piece of hardware, I doubt you could have told every one that the Olympics will be delayed by 3 days because of staff shortages.

It would not have mattered one iota what ever contract G4S had been made to sign, it could have been signed in blood they still could not have fulfilled their side of it at the price they entered into the contract with.

There was never enough money to have the amount of staff ready and willing to do the job on standby with pay for several months, it seems very reasonable that if they interviewed some one for the job in March and told them they had the job at the stadium they couldn't expect that person to just sit there waiting with no money till the event.

  Forum Editor 13:24 14 Aug 12

"I thought the idea that some one who is in a position of power should have more than 2 working brain cells."

The same might be said of people who post personally offensive remarks about named individuals without first checking the facts.

G4S is the world's largest security provider, employing over 657,000 people in 125 countries. It wasn't unreasonable to think that such a company would be more than capable of handling an event such as the Olympic Games. Philip Hammond was advised by civil servants, experts in security, who said that the company could do it.

They were right; under normal circumstances G4S would take such a project in its stride, it's used to handling big events. What it appears not to have done is a proper appraisal of the staffing requirements, and it came up short when trying to get hold of enough people and train them in the required time frame. The 5800 that were trained did an excellent job, and nobody has complained about them. In the end G4S provided the majority of security staff.

The company has also borne the cost of providing 1200 troops to augment the staff that were already trained. The taxpayer hasn't paid anything, as should be the case.

Any further offensive remarks about brain cells will be deleted on sight.

  johndrew 13:53 14 Aug 12


Whilst I believe that others who have posted express my concern that you fail to recognise the commercial concepts of the law of contract, which applies regardless of whether the subject matter is material or services, I have a greater concern over your apparent inability to read and digest what I said.

Regardless of any political stance, contracts fail to be placed that are equitable to both parties. This has been the case for a number of years and results, in my experience, of an inability of Government (or more accurately the Civil Service acting on its behalf) to negotiate such contracts. Obviously this is not always the case but is factual in many instances. Such instances are highly diverse and appear to encompass the majority of areas.

For the future I suggest you research your subject a little both before your initial post and certainly before you make statements which will only bring scorn and make you look foolish.

  morddwyd 14:40 14 Aug 12

"I thought the idea that some one who is in a position of power should have more than 2 working brain cells. "

An extremely naive concept when applied to politicians!

(A nice sweeping generalisation without naming individuals!)

  Aitchbee 14:46 14 Aug 12

johndrew - you said ..."inability of Government (or more accurately the Civil Service acting on its behalf) to negotiate such contracts, as you have 'experienced' them.

That is correct! The inability of this Government to govern.

My 'research' has concluded that you are a Tory spin-doctor!

  carver 16:02 14 Aug 12

I can't defend my posting with out getting some one in trouble so FE please lock this thread.

  Forum Editor 18:57 14 Aug 12

I see no need to lock the thread, and I can see no reason why you should get someone in trouble by defending your post.

Go ahead and defend, and let's see what happens.

  oresome 19:23 14 Aug 12

I'm not at all sure that would be guards did say "stuff your job".

From the bit I gleaned during the select commitee hearing and from some who were hoping to be called upon, the G4S back office was overwhelmed and in chaos and didn't have the systems in place to be able to contact people and log a response as their availability for a venue.

Any employee of a private company has the right to withdraw their labour, but in general they don't. Paying the mortgage and feeding the kids etc takes priority over other issues which can be resolved by negotiation.

  WhiteTruckMan 19:31 14 Aug 12

I can't help but wonder what G4S will be calling themselves this time next year. After all, they already have form for (ahem) re-branding after a huge stuff up.


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