May 20 The privatisation of five UK prisons has
been delayed by the Ministry of Justice following an
investigation into whether it was overcharged on two contracts
with private-sector companies, the Financial Times reported.
The winning bidders for the privatisation of HMP
Northumberland and South Yorkshire, which together total five
prisons, had expected to be told this week, the paper said.
The decision has been delayed partly because the personnel
involved with the procurement process are now busy on the probe,
the Financial Times said on its website.
"We haven't set a date as to when we were going to be
announcing it," a Justice Ministry spokeswoman said, adding that
the successful bidders would be announced in due course.
French caterer Sodexo, Serco and a venture
between U.S. prisons firm MTC and Britain's Amey - owned by
Spanish group Ferrovial - are in the running for the
Last Friday, the Ministry of Justice said auditors from
professional services firm PwC would examine two contracts
signed in 2005 with Serco and G4S, which together cost
the department 107 million pounds ($163 million) in 2012/13 for
electronic tagging and monitoring of offenders released from