Nick Buckles, G4S Boss, Appears Before MPs To Account For Olympics Security Staffing Failures

17/07/2012 11:36 | Updated 16 September 2012

The boss of G4S Nick Buckles is appearing before MPs on the Home Affairs committee to explain how his company failed to fulfill on its contract to provide thousands of staff to secure the Olympic Games, due to start in 10 days time.

Buckles - whose job is on the line after G4S found it had a gap of more than three thousand Olympics security staff - will have to account for why so many staff have simply failed to turn up, causing the Army to be deployed to plug the gap.

The Home Secretary Theresa May had to appear before the Commons on Monday to explain why the government had not been told of the looming staff crisis, amid allegations that ministers in the Home Office had become aware of a possible problem as long as three months ago.

Live updates of the key points of Buckles' evidence will appear here.

17/07/2012 13:10 BST

Jeremy Hunt guarded on whether the £57m fee should be paid to G4S

Speaking on Sky News Jeremy Hunt was challenged about the £57m management fee.

Hunt said there were "penalty clauses" and "they have accepted that they messed this up, that we have contingency plans and they will pick up the cost for that."

Hunt says: "We need G4S to do as well as they can," and won't comment on whether Buckles should keep his job.

17/07/2012 13:05 BST

We will give a bonus to police and the military, we need to work out how

Buckles says it's just a question of working out how the bonus is allocated to the military personnel, "particularly those who have come off leave."

17/07/2012 13:01 BST

We will still claim our £57m fee for this

"We have managed the contract and we have managed on the ground," insists Buckles, before admitting that he doesn't know what the management fee actually is.

Then lawyers reveal that it will be £57m. "We still expect to deliver a significant number of staff," says Buckles.

"I find that astonishing," says Vaz.

17/07/2012 12:53 BST

Accusations G4S failed to keep potential staff in the loop...

Tory MP Mark Reckless puts it to Buckles that staff were not kept informed about how their recruitment process was going, "There will be instances of that, I can't deny it," he replies.

"Overall this will be part of our review," says Buckles.

MPs suggest this lack of communication with staff could be why so many aren't turning up.

"Could be" says Buckles, then qualifies: "It clearly is in a number of cases, I just don't know how many"

17/07/2012 12:48 BST

We regret signing this "unprecedented" contract

Keith Vaz says MPs understand that the Olympics is a rare event.

Buckles: "Clearly we regret signing the contract but we've got to get on with delivering it."

17/07/2012 12:42 BST

"We have a very loyal and committed workforce"

...so where have they gone?

Labour MP Alun Michael says the terms of employment (no pay for training in some circumstances, for example) suggests they were "exploiting people and paying the minimum".

Buckles says "we believe this is the right way to run this event,"

Michael says: "Doesn't look like that now, does it?"

Buckles: "No it doesn't"

17/07/2012 12:35 BST

"Clearly that shortage is going to manifest itself on this day forward until the Games."

It seems as though that rate has gone to about 85% so far...

"our problem at the moment is shortage of staff," says Buckles. You think??

Buckles is told off by Keith Vaz for not answering James Clappison's questions. He wants to know is it likely that there will be a major staffing crisis on the first day of the Olympics.

He says: "Clearly that shortage is going to manifest itself on this day forward until the Games."

Vaz says does this mean they need more support on standby?

Buckles: "I don't believe so at the moment, we believe we can cover all venues with support from the police and the military"

17/07/2012 12:32 BST

I had "complete and utter shock" on 3rd of July when I was on holiday

Buckles was on holiday in the US when he found out on the 3rd of July that there was a massive staffing crisis at the Olympics brewing.

He says staff "worked tirelessly" to get the contract back on track after the 3rd of July

17/07/2012 12:30 BST

The whole contract is based on paying staff when they work only

Lorraine Fullbrook is trying to grasp why it was that people were contracted to work but are not turning up.

"The whole pipeline process of keeping introducing applications" appears to be the only contingency to stop it all falling apart when people dropped off. And it didn't work.

17/07/2012 12:25 BST

Olympics a "reputational" contract, not a financial one

Buckles says that the Olympics was never going to make G4S a huge amount of money, they took it for reputational reasons.

When accused of cutting corners because the profit margin was low, Buckles then says G4S felt they were the only company who could do the job.

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