Olympic Guarding Shortfalls Spark Disappointment, Outrage
British lawmakers are laying into Olympic Games security guard provider G4S, six days after the company admitted that it could not provide 10,400 guards to the Games.
According to an article from CNN, Nick Buckles, the chief executive of G4S, admitted under pressure by lawmakers that G4S regrets signing the $444 million government contract, as only 4,000 guards are currently trained and ready for the Olympics.
Buckles said that there was a company “expectation” that 7,000 guards will be ready by the start of the Games on July 27, CNN reports, although he did call the number “a moving target.”
The Home Office said Monday that the contractor was suffering from a certain software problem, which meant that it would not be able to guarantee which guards report where and whether or not they have the correct training for that day’s position, according to CNN. The article states that G4S has not responded to questions about that accusation.
The G4S recruits will perform venue perimeter security tasks, such as manning X-ray machines, searching people and vehicles, and operating closed-circuit television systems, the article says.
The company will reimburse police forces that have to provide officers to cover for guarding shortfalls, and, according to the article, will “consider” paying bonuses to military and police who are called in to help.
According to Buckles, the information that G4S would be unable to fulfill its contract came “completely out of the blue” on July 3. The company accepts “100 percent responsibility” for its failure, and is “extremely grateful to the military and police for helping us out,” the article says.