Problems and Solutions with G4S

Every two years an Olympic host city led to a heated discussion in mainstream media and academic works. This paper aims to know and explore the overwhelming challenges and opportunities faced by the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), especially the security chaos that its security contractor company G4S PLC’s fail to provide all the staff promised. After analysis of the problem, this study will provide detailed information and some feasible strategies, completing with the critical evaluations of the merits and demerits of some solutions. 2. Introduction
The London Organising Committee of Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is responsible for preparing and staging the London 2012 Games, which is based in Canary Wharf along with the Olympic Delivery Authority. Along with the coming games, several unpredictable problems come out into public view. It is obviously the biggest concern has always got to be a safe and secure game. As a result of this serious issue, the world’s largest security company, G4S, is contracted by London 2012 Locog to keep the games safe. This study aims at analyze the problems founded during the contract and examining the appropriate solutions and recommendations.
This analysis will consist of eight sections, findings of the evidences and the methods. * First of all, the paper outlines the background of both LOCOG and G4S. * Secondly, the specific descriptions of the problems given above, which presents the troubles it has encountered from different perspectives in the past days. * Finally, reasonable solutions to the problems with some basic assessments. Although the excellent image given by London during these Olympics have already ensure they successfully underwent the challenges, in any case, recommendations will probably beneficial for both LOCOG and the host city in the long-term run. . Background to the problem 3. 1 Brief description of the problems It began with a scandal concerning security when the contractor firm G4S, which had a ? 284m contract to provide as many as security guards but could not supply enough personnel, apologized for the mishandling of its contractual obligations regarding the Olympic events. Furthermore, the G4S boss Nick Buckles said he regretted ever taking on the Olympic security contract, which was described as a “humiliating shambles”. In this case, it led to a further 3,500 troops being employed and among 17,000 troops are involved in helping keep the Olympics safe.

Meanwhile a further 1,200 military personnel are on standby. 3. 2 Details about the relevant company and organisation ‘We will deliver the best possible Olympic and Paralympic Games experience for everyone involved, ensuring a real legacy and inspiring people to join in and truly make these ‘’everyone’s Games’’’ (LOCOG, 2012) . ‘With operations in more than 125 countries and 657,000 employees, we specialize in outsourced business processes and facilities in sectors where security and safety risks are considered a strategic threat.
In more ways than you might realise, G4s is securing your world’ (G4S, 2012). 3. 3 Reasons to explore the problem G4S claim it was a tight schedule and deploying security for the Games is a complex business, but, for such a successful experienced security company with huge contracts around the world, why has their recruitment process so badly failed? Furthermore, in terms of the organisers LOCOG, whether public utilities could be handed over to profit-driven private enterprise? 4. Analysis of the issue 4. 1 G4S’s recruitment and management ‘chaos’ Securing Your World’ is G4S’s maxim (G4S, 2012). However, it seems that the world’s largest security company failed at this time, especially regarding its own world. Although G4S started on the recruitment of management personnel as soon as it took over the order at the end of 2010, the on-site security guards began to recruit until the beginning of the year (BBC, 2012). The recruitment drive hit the headlines for using a variety of online, printed and outdoor medias, thereby, G4S had made a successful attraction campaign which received more than 100,000 applications (MPs, 2012).
They adopted a Just in Time (JIT) management model, which means not to do recruitment until the last moment, thus to avoid the redundant management cost and to deliver maximize efficiency. G4S hired college students and foreign nationals in low reward which was ? 8. 5 per hour compared with the legal minimum hourly wage was ? 6. 19 (BBC, 2012). The recruitment process seemed to be such a complex and unprecedented contract with required so many training, vetting and accredited personnel. Many people then realized it was a serious undertaking.
Besides, the labour contract of the successful candidates was only a temporary contract during the Olympic Games, which the wages were pay by actual working day. What’s more, there was no salary during the training and the employees need to pay the uniform fee. The problem is not do G4S unable to recruit enough staffs, even those who are being hired, G4Sl still cannot guarantee the final attendance. Many employees who have completed training and contracted to work for G4S, were not being deployed. According to the recruiters’ experience in G4S, many of them had received no schedules, uniforms or training on x-ray machines.
Meanwhile, they had been allocated to venues hundreds of miles from where they lived (BBC, 2012). 4. 2 Contract ‘chaos’ G4S originally signed a contract with LOCOG in 2010 to provide 2,000 security guards and the number raise to 10,400 in December 2011 with the contract now worth ? 284 million (BBC, 2012). The change in the number of personnel required by LOCOG along with the complex procedures required to be done by the applicants are key to understanding the failure of G4S’s matter. This let no time for even a giant private company such as G4S to provide sufficient number by around 400% increased.
What’s more, the government has agreed to the JTL approach that the security workforce would be in training until the last moment, which was supposed to reduce the security budget (BBC, 2012). A report published by Public Accounts Committee which is responsible for evaluating whether if government spending provides value for money, detailed that it was very concerned about the request for increased by LOCOG and warned that the Olympic budgets get overspend, it also raised concerns about its management of those funds (PAC, 2012).
There exists a failure in contract negotiation of further workers between the supplier ‘G4S’ and the consumer ‘LOCOG’. The status has been stated (BBC, 2012) as this is standard practice for any company, which the practice of delayed hiring however will struggle to cope when the contract requirements change in close proximity to the event. However, Lord Coe (2012) has promised a ‘safe and secure Games’ despite the failure of G4S. He also insisted that ‘the right and appropriate thing to do is to put the challenge in proportion and to work together to ensure sufficient security guards’. Description and evaluation of some solutions 5. 3 Aims of the solutions In order to ensure the best performance in Olympic Games, several possible suggestions are provided to be reference. The private security in industry is large, fast-growing, and global, in the meantime, it is also perplexed by high turnover and poor training, so that the role of G4S function during the Olympics need to be well formulated and under supervision. 5. 4 As for G4S 5. 5. 1 To admit the possible problems within relative short time.
G4S seemed to use the brinkmanship tactics as it didn’t admit their problems until a fortnight before the opening ceremony. Earlier research (Henderson, 1967) demonstrated that brinkmanship in business is pushing a negotiation to the point of nearly killing a deal in order to achieve the most favorable terms when that deal is finally agreed upon. Brinkmanship often produces a negotiator’s great successes, but it can result in the worst mistakes, which exactly did by G4S, therefor must be used carefully.
A risk management (defined in ISO 31000) or at least a risk assessment can be carried out, to mitigate risks under Brinkmanship strategy. Developing an effective Risk Management Plan (RMP) is an important part of any project. RMP is one of the nine knowledge areas defined in PMBOK (PMI, 2008). Firstly, a special risk management team is need to be establish, which may include employees from departments such as audit, information systems, finance and human resources. Secondly, perform a critical risk analysis which should identify, asses and measure the likelihood of an impact that event would have during period of contract.
Thirdly, develop proper risk strategies, including risk transfer, insurance, retention, loss control, and avoiding risky activities. Also, the strategies program needs to be monitored closely, as all changes will be made keeping in mind the practical aspects of the program. Fourthly, implement a good employee training program. It is noticed that G4S has a really poor employee management which has drawn much attentions from public. There is no substitute for trained, knowledgeable personnel in a disaster.
Therefore, RMP helps minimizing losses and reduces the negative effects of risks. However, it is only effective if both the company G4S and the staff act on the findings. It is important for company to follow through with any actions required and review the assessment on a regular basis. Also it faces difficulty in allocating resources and determining the rate of occurrence since statistical information is not available on all kinds of past incidents. 5. 5. 2 The poor operations management needs to be improved.
One of the major methods is to improve the internal system, which is reported (BBC, 2012) by the Independent to be the root cause, had not delivered accurate management information back up to senior planners about the true state of recruitment, as a result in a barrier between outsource and services provider. It is quite unreasonable that such a big company has not established a completed internal system. Methods such as establishing a system of incident reporting, performing root cause analysis, defining intended results and establishing performance measures can be taken into practice.
Nevertheless, whether an organization achieves operational and strategic objectives may depend on factors outside the enterprise, such as technological innovation which is outside the scope of internal system. Therefore, effective internal system cannot guarantee the achievement of the goals. Suitable staff recruitment and training programs are necessary to be instituted as it can provide warning of deficiencies and allow chance to rectify the matter. The recruitment process and staff performance should be based on objective criteria assessment.
Starting a complete and orderly interview process early and offer the certain training required 3-4 months before the date on people who are still available, therefore at least keep in contact with them so you know if they are available or not. 5. 5 As for LOCOG Cooperation and negotiations are of essential required during the contract period. The failure of the Olympic contract undertakes together by both sides. There is a need for constant directly communication and re-negotiate etween the LOCOG and G4S at high level to check on the existing contract and the progress. Effective contract monitoring can be apply to probably solve the situation. ‘When a public body purchases a service for vulnerable adults from an independent provider, the public body has moral and legal accountability for the duty of care and quality of the service. No matter how far the contract may try to locate legal responsibilities solely with the provider, the purchaser has responsibilities for what does and does not happen.
Efficient and effective contract monitoring enables public bodies to fulfill and be comfortable with such responsibilities. ’ (Doug, 2006) Appropriate actions include inspecting and documenting results, making recommendations, providing technical assistance and training, advocating for programs, staff or inmates, and reviewing and preparing documentation. The monitor is also in the position of providing continuous feedback both to and from the Contractor and the Department.
It does not direct operations of the Facility, but is more in the observer or the consultant role. 6. Conclusion To sum up, this study has examined the reasons why G4S failed from the contract with LOCOG by analyzing G4S’s recruitment and management chaos and the contract chaos. Meanwhile, the study has put forward several specific solutions to each problem, in which a RMP should be used to lower the risk, staff recruitment and training programs should be applied along with an effective contract monitoring. 7. Recommendations
A recommendation is made that the since the company seemed to brinkmanship strategy, a risk management plan therefore should be applied to reducing the potential risks It is proposed that the company needs to pay attentions to its operations management, including recruitment management and training programs, using technique such as risk management plan and just-in-time model to improve the performance of management. It would be helpful for both G4S and LOCOG to maintain a closely relationship which may be established by constant communication, or a special contract monitor. . Reference LOCOG, 2012. What is LOCOG responsible for? [online] Available at: ; http://www. london2012. com/about-us/the-people-delivering-the-games/locog/; [Accessed 20 August 2012]. G4S, 2012. Who we are. [online] Available at: ; http://www. g4s. com/en/Who%20we%20are/; [Accessed 20 August 2012]. BBC, 2012. G4S profile. BBC, [online]17 July. Available at: ; http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/business-18868406; [Accessed 20 August 2012]. Public Accounts Committee, 2012, Committee reports on preparations for London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
London: The house of Commons. Robert, B. , Nick, H. , 2012. Olympic security chaos: depth of G4S security crisis revealed, theguardian, [online]13 July. Available at: ; http://www. guardian. co. uk/sport/2012/jul/12/london-2012-g4s-security-crisis; [Accessed 20 August 2012]. Henderson, B. D. , 1967. Brinkmanship in Business. Chester: The Boston Consulting Group. Project Management Institute, 2012. PMI Risk Management Professional. [online] Available at: http://www. pmi. org/certification/pmi-risk-management-professional-pmi-rmp. aspx; Accessed 24 August 2012] James, B. , 2012. Olympic task G4S’s problems were in training and vetting candidates, not in the original recruitment campaign. People Management, August Issue, p. 9. Care Services Improvement Partnership, 2006. Improving performance through effective contract monitoring. [pdf]. Available at: ; http://www. puttingpeoplefirst. org. uk/_library/Resources/BetterCommissioning/BetterCommissioning_advice/Chap10DGosling. pdf; [Accessed 22 August 2012]. Hannon, C. , 2012. Lessons from the G4S Olympic recruitment disaster.

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