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By Neil Maidment
LONDON, April 9 British security group G4S
will again be considered for government contracts after
ministers said on Wednesday they were satisfied with the firm's
efforts to overhaul itself following a series of damaging
Last month G4S, the world's biggest security group, agreed
to repay 108.9 million pounds to the government after
overcharging it on a contract to tag criminals. That mistake
followed its failure to provide enough guards for the London
Olympics in 2012.
The failures forced the company to overhaul its management.
It has made 28 senior appointments and has embarked on a
restructuring and investment scheme to revive its fortunes and
win the trust of UK government, a customer worth almost 10
percent of its 7.4 billion pound annual revenues.
Shares in the firm, which runs services from prison
management and border control to cash transportation, are still
down 14 percent on a year ago. At 1514 GMT they were flat at
The tagging fiasco - when alongside rival outsourcer Serco
the firm was found to have charged for monitoring
criminals who were dead, in prison or had not been tagged at all
- led to a ban since last July on new UK government work and an
ongoing investigation into it by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
In a statement, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said
Britain's change in stance on G4S was independent of the SFO
probe and would remain subject to monitoring changes the firm
had made to ensure they stayed in place.
"As long as that plan is implemented... we're happy that we
feel more confident in awarding them the work," a spokeswoman
for Britain's Cabinet Office said.
G4S boss Ashley Almanza, chief executive since June, said it
was an important milestone for the company in rebuilding its
relationship with the UK government.
"Our priorities now are to deliver outstanding service on
existing contracts and to grow our business by competing for new
government services," he said in a statement.
After a similar overhaul, Serco was given the green light to
win new UK government work in January.
(Additional reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton
and Elaine Hardcastle)