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Another Chief Exec Who Doesn't Know What's Happening


oresome

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G4S boss Nick Buckles only realised a few days ago that a £280 million contact to supply security services for the Olympics was going belly up.

Understandable I suppose. He must be dealing with contracts of this size everyday of the week and the odd one or two are bound to slip through the net.

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Picklefactory

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£28,400 per security person for approx one months work? Is that correct? (£28m / 10,000 staff) I bet the breakdown of that cost is interesting reading, the overheads must be staggering. Apparently, about 4000 staff are ready to go, so that is £113,600,000, if my sums are OK and a shortfall of £170,400,000, but they reckon it'll cost G4S £50m? Can anyone explain where all the money has gone if the staff do not exist? Do failed interviews and failed tests cost so much? Is it normal to pay up front for this kind of service. in my business, on high capital spend projects, there is always a staggered payment agreement with key stages of project achievement that trigger the next stage payment. Have we paid G4S the total amount in advance?

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QuizMan

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The longer this goes on the more I feel that LOCOG must take repsonsibility for part of this fiasco. It was them that upped the number of security staff required substantially at a very late stage. For their part G4S error was that it did not realise how impossible that increase would prove to supply. Maybe they were more worried about losing the overall contract. In hindsight they should have stood up to LOCOG and said that their demands were unreasonable.

I am rather puzzled about what these staff are meant to be doing. I am one of 70,000 unpaid volunteer staff that are working at the Olympics. We have a variety of roles to fulfil but the largest contingent, me included, is on the security side. I shall be working in the public screening area at the entrance to the Olympic Park. It involves getting visitors through the metal detectors and x-raying their bags. We work alongside the army in that regard. I had my final training last Wednesday and at no stage were G4S involved in the process, it was all volunteers and army. Yet it is exactly the same process that G4S now have to provide additional numbers. Maybe they will be deployed at other Olympic venues. Time will tell.

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Forum Editor

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Picklefactory

"....the overheads must be staggering"

I imagine they are. I don't know, but I'm guessing that there's a huge insurance implication, and considerable costs for vehicles, uniforms, radio communications and IT.

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Quickbeam

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QuizMan

Do I take it that you've had some in house training for the job, but not any required formally recognised course or qualification that I got the impression from Kev.Ifty was needed?

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QuizMan

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Quickbeam

It was rather like job seeking. About 230k applied by filling out an initial application. A short(er) list of "candidates" was drawn up and we all had a 20 minute or so interview. It was very much like a normal job interview where I had to give examples from working of personal life of how I achieved something, such as problem solving or customer service excellence.

Once through that the 70k of us attended various training courses depending on the tasks we had to undertake. I had an induction course followed by role training and venue training. It was all very thorough and organised by LOCOG. However, I do not know what vetting was taking place behind the scenes.

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KRONOS the First

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On the broader point, I wonder how many of those complaining about this have also complained about the costs. G4S could have started to recruit people six months earlier to make sure they had time to deal with problems but that would have upped the contract price.

But surely the original contract was for G4S to supply a certain number of staff, when the staff that were needed to be recruited to fulfil that contract would have surely been factored in when G4s tendered for the contract.

I believe the cost of the contract also increased quite substantially before this mess was exposed.

Whereas I have no problem with troops doing the job, the fact that a lot of these guys are not long back from Afghanistan and have had leave etc cancelled to make up G4S's shortfall is not good, on top of that ,of course many will be winding down for redundancy.

As for the CEO not being having his fingers in every pie because of the size of the company. This was a major contract with major security implications and the CEO should not have been unaware of the problems, this is not some building site watchman keeping an eye out for thieves and wayward kids type of contract. So of course he should have been aware, if he was not then he has some seriously useless managers under him which reflects porly on his competence.

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marvin42

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On the Andrew Marr Show this morning, Jeremy Hunt said that the security staff had been given 5 days training - as is this were more than adequate!!

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oresome

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I don't under estimate the enormity of the task.

Recruit, vet and train a very large workforce on low wages for a very short term contract.

But hey, they bid for the contract and won it. Presumably the task was thoroughly costed and planned with milestones along the way.

The chief exec could hardly have had a more high profile contract to undertake even if it wasn't the highest value on the company's books.

You'd expect him to be getting almost daily updates as to the progress or lack thereof and to be made fully aware of any possibility of none compliance well before now.

As a customer, would you just award the contract and let them get on with it, or would you set your own milestones, agreed with G4S and want to be satisfied they were on course throughout the lead up to the games?

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KRONOS the First

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oresome

Very well put.

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Condom

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Jeremy Hunt looked more uncomfortable today than he did at Levison. I have a feeling a few at the Home Office will be gone at the first reshuffle.

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