Olympic Security a 'Shambles,' Chief Admits

Firm keeping $90M management fee despite massive failures
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2012 2:30 AM CDT
Olympic Security a 'Shambles,' Chief Admits
"I cannot disagree with you," G4S chief executive Nick Buckles told a lawmaker who described security as a "humiliating shambles."   (AP Photo/PA)

The chief of security giant G4S was summoned before British lawmakers for an Olympic-size scolding yesterday. Under questioning, Nick Buckles was forced to acknowledge that his company's arrangements for the London Olympics are a "humiliating shambles," CNN reports. The company admitted just weeks before the Games that it would be unable to supply the 10,400 guards it had promised, forcing the government to bring in thousands of troops, many of them just back from Afghanistan, to provide security.

"We regret signing the contract," Buckles told lawmakers, but he said the company would not forfeit its management fee of $90 million on its $450 million contract. "We've managed the contract, and we've had management on the ground for two years," he said. "We still expect to deliver a significant number of staff to the Olympics." Buckles said his company—which has lost nearly a fifth of its market value over the last couple of weeks—would reimburse the police and military for the extra costs, and is considering paying bonuses to military personnel who had to come off leave to provide security. In another embarrassment for organizers, several buses carrying athletes and officials got lost in London for hours earlier this week. (Read more G4S stories.)

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