The FT recently reported that, according to figures from the Information Services Group consultancy, government spending on outsourced public services has risen from £64bn to £120bn in the five years since the coalition came to power.
Though the Serious Fraud Office is investigating Serco and G4S and the National Audit Office has called for tighter scrutiny of government contracts, the ‘outsourcing market’ gathers pace in health, justice, welfare and defence sectors and is now said to be the second largest in the world outside the US.
Concerns over food safety – and now nuclear security
Capita, which took over the Food and Environment Research Agency in March, has won another contract. The Independent reports that the ‘outsourcing giant’ is to play a support role at the command centre of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, an armed special police service that protects nuclear power plants, waste dumps, and nuclear material in transit.
But Capita is neither cheap nor reliably efficient:
- One of many instances: Professor David Bailey: Service Birmingham’s £63,000-a-day Dividend Bombshell
- Capita’s MoD online recruitment computer system is two years behind schedule.The government has contracted to pay the company £1bn over 10 years to hire 9,000 soldiers a year for the army.
Why does the government make such decisions – manifestations of the corporate-state nexus at its worst?