The charity Children England has mounted a petition
expressing grave concerns about Government plans to outsource child protection to for-profit companies such as Serco and G4S.
Child protection involves sensitive, complex decisions. They need to be made by professionals who are not employed by companies whose first responsibility as businesses is to their shareholders.
The Olympic Games were nearly scuppered when G4S failed to meet its obligations. Defence minister, Philip Hammond, said the debacle
showed that private firms are not suited to providing many public services.
In December, it was reported that G4S faces an investigation
into the way it handled its contract to manage facilities in British courts. The Serious Fraud Office had been informed. In March, justice minister Chris Grayling said G4S may face criminal proceedings
over its alleged overcharging of at least £24m on electronic tagging and prisoner escort.
Serco ran education in Bradford for ten years. It’s now been taken back by the Council. Channel 4’s Dispatches programme on Britain’s “Fat Cats
” was critical of Serco’s involvement.
The collapse of Southern Cross
should be a warning about what can happen when services to vulnerable people are offered to any willing provider.
Four former employees of the welfare-to-work firm A4e have admitted in court they swindled the tax payer
. When accusations were first made two years ago, the chair, Emma Harrison, who’d received £8.6m dividend from A4e despite it being fully-funded by public money, resigned
A senior infantry regiment spokesperson told the Telegraph
that the Capita contract to manage army recruitment had eroded a previously-successful system
. And Capita failed to deliver court translation services. Capita has been involved with controversy so often that the satirical magazine Private Eye
has named it "Crapita".
But the Government wants to hand over services which protect our most vulnerable children to for-profit companies.
It’s not too late to sign the petition. Neither is it too late to have your say – but you will need to hurry because the consultation ends on Friday. Follow this link if you want your views to be heard.