A 'humiliating shambles' - that's what the G4S Olympic Security fiasco's been dubbed today by a committee of MPs. And even the man who runs the firm said he couldn't disagree with that accusation!
It's been a day full of red faces and tough questions as the Home Affairs Select Committee probed Nick Buckles and, as the CEO of G4S, the buck stops with him. The firm won a £280m contract to recruit and train 10,400 staff to make sure that visitors and athletes feel safe around the London 2012 event, which opens next Friday. Today in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee he defended himself.
Keith Vaz Labour MP & Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee asks' Why are you still in your post?'
Nick Buckles, G4S CEO replies: 'My first priority is clearly to make sure we deliver as many people as we can on this contract. That's got to be my number one priority. It's not about me it's about making sure we deliver the contract.'
James Clappison, Conservative MP asks: 'You're contracted to provide 10,400 guards: as we speak here do you know how many you'll actually provide?
Nick Buckles G4S CEO replies: 'It's a moving target in terms of what we believe we can do at the moment we have 4200 people working on the ground. Our expectation is that the minimum we will deliver is 7,000 on the ground.'
The shortfall's being made up by 3,500 troops and officers from 9 police forces as well as specialist agents from the US!! G4S will lose £35m and £50m as a result of the shambles and Buckles agreed that the reputation of the firm is in tatters. But ironically he maintained it would still claim its £57m management fee!