G4S 4 EU
After armed robberies, ethical concerns and an Al Qaida recruit, G4S pockets more than €120mln extra in EUHQ contracts
G4S may be having a nightmare in London with their underhandling of the Olympics, but they’re making hay with the EU institutions.
And that’s despite complaints that while in charge of EU Parliament security they presided over three armed robberies, that the company provided security to illegal Israeli settlements, checkpoints and prisons, and that one former G4S European Parliament guard has just been jailed in Belgium for Al Qaida links.
Members of the European Parliament became uneasy about the security arrangements at their Brussels headquarters in recent years, following a series of robberies which culminated in a bank heist last February.
G4S, which at the time had the 92.5 million euro five-year Brussels European Parliament security contract, came under further pressure when it transpired that one of their former guards had been recruited into a terrorist cell. He was sentenced last month to three years in prison.
The company has stressed that the individual in question hasn’t worked for G4S since 2003, but that hasn’t stopped some factions of the parliament raising concerns.
And European Parliament procurement bods faced calls to end dealings with G4S amidst concerns raised by MEPs and campaign groups about the role the company plays in equipping Israeli prisons which – the activists say – hold Palestinian political prisoners in violation of international law.
The campaigners were jubilant in April this year when it transpired that the EP had indeed declined to renew the G4S contract.
However, over the last year as various EU institutional tenders have come up for grabs, despite G4S’s woes and the loss of two key contracts, the company is actually getting more dosh out of the major EU bodies.
Last year it also lost the contract – now worth 46 million euros over five years – to run the European Commission’s security in its Luxembourg offices. And the EP Brussels security detail would have seen them pocket 94.7 million, which instead went to Securitas.
Over the same period, however, it renewed its contract with the European Parliament for its Luxembourg properties, in a deal worth 48 million euros – 15.9 million euros more than the 2008-2012 tender.
And somehow, despite losing the main EP Brussels work, it managed to snaffle a 7 million euro ‘maintenance’ tender.
Then there was the motherload. In January last year – just before the third armed hold-up in the parliament – the European Commission awarded its security work to G4S for 237.8 million euros, ending its previous arrangement with Securitas.
In all, and in spite of the pressures on the company, ‘Monster calculates that G4S is now pocketing close to 300 million euros from the EU’s two biggest institutions, over 120 million euros more than during the previous round of contracts.
Although, judging by the scale of the London Olympic mishap, they’re going to need all the spare change they can muster…