G4S CARE AND JUSTICE SERVICES (UK) LIMITED AGREES DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENT WITH UK SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE
The proposed DPA was the subject of a preliminary court ruling late this afternoon, and the SFO and G4SCJ will now seek final judicial approval to the DPA from the court on 17 July 2020.
The DPA relates to G4SCJ’s electronic monitoring contracts. Under the DPA, G4SCJ has taken responsibility for three offences of fraud between August 2011 and May 2012 related to financial reporting to the UK Ministry of Justice under those contracts. Subject to approval by the court and compliance with the terms of the DPA, this concludes the SFO’s investigation into G4SCJ. Investigations into allegations of improper billing, which were initially the focus of the SFO’s investigation, have now been concluded without any criminal charges against G4SCJ.
The DPA is a voluntary agreement under which G4SCJ will not be prosecuted provided the business fulfils certain requirements, including paying a financial penalty of £38.5m, plus a payment of £5.9m in respect of the SFO’s costs. This fine reflects a discount of 40% as a result of G4SCJ’s substantial cooperation with the SFO’s investigation. No damages or disgorgement of profit are payable because the terms of the DPA provide that G4SCJ fully compensated the Secretary of State for Justice as part of a £121m settlement entered into in March 2014.
The SFO has recognised the significant steps taken by the board and management of G4S to reform the Company since 2013. These steps have included making substantial changes to its senior management and that of G4SCJ, the adoption and implementation of a corporate renewal programme approved by the UK Government, which included enhancing systems of risk management covering bidding, contract on-boarding and management and strengthening assurance activities, operating practices, controls, policies, and procedures throughout its operations, as well as subjecting itself to internal and external examination, analysis, detailed review, and audits to ensure progress and success in its rehabilitation efforts.
Under the DPA, G4SCJ has agreed to various measures in relation to the continued implementation and external review of its programme of corporate renewal. Alongside the DPA, G4S itself has assumed certain obligations to ensure the progression of that programme.
Ashley Almanza, Group Chief Executive, said:
“The behaviour which resulted in the offences committed in 2011 and 2012 is completely counter to the Group’s values and standards and is not tolerated within G4S. We have apologised to the UK Government and implemented significant changes to people, policies, practices and controls, designed to ensure that our culture is underpinned by high ethical standards and that our business is always conducted in a manner which is consistent with our values.
We have made significant progress in embedding these standards throughout the Group and we are pleased that this has been acknowledged by the SFO and the UK Government. We will continue to enhance our practices to ensure that our customers can continue to have complete trust and confidence in G4S.
Resolving this long-standing matter brings certainty to G4S and allows us to focus on delivering innovative and valuable services to our customers in order to grow our business. This represents an important milestone for the Group.”
This announcement contains inside information and the person responsible for making this announcement is Celine Barroche, Company Secretary.