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Serco Inc announces excellence award as UK tagging storm grows

12 July 2013

Labour joins the chorus calling for 'immediate action' against Serco and G4S for allegedly charging government for electronic tagging of people in prison, abroad or even, in a few cases, dead. But Serco - in the form of its US branch - is having none of it, responding on Twitter with news of an award it has claimed for outstanding achievement.

Labour, in the form of Sadiq Khan MP, Shadow Justice Secretary, is demanding immediate action 'to ensure justice is done and to prevent a repeat'.

It is demanding that no more contracts should be awarded to Serco or G4S until the NAO (and Cabinet Office audit ordered today) have been completed, the findings published and the respective companies given a clean bill of health.

Further, it says the National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee should be asked to investigate all Serco and G4S contracts with the Government. And, it adds, Freedom of Information legislation should be extended to the delivery of public services by the private sector to give greater accountability and transparency.

Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, said: "When it comes to keeping the public safe, we cannot afford to be so reliant on the same few giant corporations. More and more of the justice system is being privatised at a time when there are serious concerns being raised about two of the biggest private contractors with the Government. Almost £800million of the Ministry of Justice budget went to just five companies in 2012/13, all of which is beyond the transparency of freedom of information. This isn't a healthy or proper way to efficiently spend taxpayers money and I’m worried that there is too cosy a relationship between Government and these companies.

“I have written to both the National Audit Office and the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee calling for a thorough investigation into the use of taxpayers’ money by G4S and Serco. These allegations are so serious that I am also writing to the Serious Fraud Office to ask them to investigate allegations of fraud against both companies.”

Meanwhile, type Serco into the Twitter search bar and you'll find there's not much flowing from the company other than a press release from Serco Inc in the US. It announces that the company has received the 2013 James S. Cogswell Outstanding Industrial Achievement Award from the Department of Defense, Defense Security Service (DSS). Serco was selected as one of 24 recipients, from more than 13,500 defense contractors.

The James S. Cogswell Award was established in 1966 and is the most prestigious recognition by the Federal government for a cleared defense contractor that demonstrates industrial security excellence.

The Cogswell Award recognises industrial security excellence, taking into account factors that include establishing and maintaining a security program that far exceeds the basic National Industrial Security Program requirements; and providing leadership to other cleared facilities in establishing best practices while maintaining the highest standards for security.

To be considered for this award, Serco was required to have a minimum of two consecutive superior industrial security review ratings, which shows a sustained degree of excellence and innovation in their overall security program management, implementation and oversight.

“We are honored to receive the Cogswell Award in recognition of our dedication and focus on security excellence. Our team here at Serco recognizes that national security impacts the safety of our warfighters and our Nation,” said Ed Casey, Serco’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to protecting national security, while providing best-in-class services to our customers.”

Winners were announced at the 2013 Annual Conference of National Classification Management Society (NCMS), the society of industrial security professionals, in Chicago on 26 June.




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