British Security Firm G4S Faces Prison Abuse Allegations
G4S lost its electronic tagging contract with the MoJ after it emerged that the firm was overcharging taxpayersReuters

G4S will repay almost £109m to the UK Ministry of Justice after it overcharged taxpayers on its contract for the electronic tagging of offenders.

Allegations emerged in mid-2013 that G4S had charged the MoJ for tagging work that had not been carried out, such as on people who were dead or in prison.

The government has since stripped G4S of the electronic monitoring contract and barred the outsourcing giant from any future public contracts until the MoJ is confident it has made changes to its business culture and practices.

G4S had initially offered the MoJ a repayment of £24.1m in November. The government rejected the offer. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is currently investigating the contract.

"I have been clear from the outset that I would take all necessary steps to recover costs relating to overpayments," said Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

"G4S's repayment of £108.9m (plus VAT) represents a significant step forward and a good deal for hardworking taxpayers."

A hefty repayment relating to the electronic tagging scandal helped pull G4S down to a £170m pre-tax loss for 2013. In 2012 it turned out a £158m profit.

"This has been an extremely challenging year for G4S," said Ashley Almanza, chief executive of G4S.

"We have taken clear action to address longstanding issues and have introduced wide ranging changes to strengthen our business.

"We can now look to the future with increasing confidence, focusing on the growing demand for G4S services that underpins our plans to deliver sustainable, profitable growth."