Review of Olympic Games security contract sought

July 13, 2012 at 9:41 AM
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LONDON, July 13 (UPI) -- British lawmakers called for a review of the contract of a private security firm that fell short of providing the personnel required for the Summer Olympics.

The security firm G4S failed to provide enough staff for the Olympic venues, forcing the government to assign an additional 3,500 military personnel, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Confidential Home Office documents reviewed by the Telegraph indicate G4S's fee for managing civilian security staff rose from $11.3 million to $92.8 million -- multiple times faster than its spending on recruitment.

G4S said it has trained and deployed 4,000 of the 10,400 guards it is contracted to provide, the Telegraph said. The firm said 9,000 more staff were in the "final stages" of training and could be sent to the Games, but even then there would be a shortfall of at least 3,200 personnel.

Home Secretary Theresa May said G4S and Olympics organizers, not the government, were responsible for the $440 million contract for the private security guards.

Lawmakers also called for the firm to be banned from future government work.

With the additional 3,500 troops, the government will field a military force of 17,000 at the Games, which open July 27.

In addition, officials said there remained fears of terrorist attacks, the Times said.

A combined assessment by Britain's domestic and international spy agencies, MI5 and MI6, rated the risk of a terrorist attack as substantial, the third highest in a five-tier system, one level below the alert that has prevailed for most of the time since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.

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