G4S – Olympics Security Shambles

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world.

G4S Security Services – UK
Project type : Provision of security personnel for the 2012 London Olympic games
Project name : Olympic games
Date : Aug 2012 Cost : $60M Management fee

Synopsis :
3,500 British military personnel are called in at the last minute to plug gaps in the 2012 Olympic Games security after G4S Ltd failed to deliver on their contract to provide up to 10,000 trained security personnel.  Poor communications and poorly selected job candidates resulted in very poor turnout.  In the lead up to the games venues started to report that G4S were failing to report for duty. One venue reported that of the 150 G4S staff expected to report for duty only 1 person did.

Staff who had been offered a job reported that G4S have never been back in touch with them to provide instructions on where to go for training or when training was scheduled.  Newspaper reporters who infiltrated G4S training sessions found that no background checks were being performed on applicants.  In addition some applicants were seen sleeping through training sessions or listening to music rather than concentrating on the training.

Contributing factors as reported in the press:
Lack of management control. Failure to appreciate the size and complexity of the project. Failure to hire appropriately committed staff. Failure to train staff adequately. Poor internal communications and a failure to establish appropriate controls and management processes to ensure the project was properly organized.

Reference links :

  1. G4S shambles revealed in internal report
  2. G4S staff hit out over Olympics security ‘shambles’
  3. Olympic security: The firm at centre of the shambles ‘has seen fee rise by £53m’
  4. VIDEO – MP’s skewer the G4S CEO
  5. Two G4S directors resign in wake of Olympics fiasco