Outsourcing giant G4S has been cleared to bid for government contracts after it was barred from doing so earlier this year following an over-charging scandal.
Last month the firm agreed to refund the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) £108.9m, plus VAT, to compensate the department for services it had charged for not carrying out in England and Wales between 2005 and 2013.
G4S had to convince ministers that it had undertaken the "corporate renewal" necessary to restore its reputation within Whitehall, following the over-charging scandal and prominent failures in its management of Olympics security.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said that G4S has “engaged constructively with the government” and that “the government has now accepted that [G4S’s] corporate renewal plan represents the right direction of travel to meet our expectations as a customer”.
The clearance, Maude added, does not affect an investigation into G4S by the Serious Fraud Office, but “we are reassured that G4S is committed to act swiftly should any new information emerge from ongoing investigations”.
Maude also said that government is “redoubling” its efforts to “build commercial skills across the civil service” over the coming months. The announcement follows a December 2013 review by chief procurement officer Bill Crothers of major government contracts by G4S and Serco, which identified weakness in the majority of contracts regarding managing performance, payments and incentives, as well as planning and governance.