How does a company with G4S’s reputation clean up on so many public privatising contracts now worth well over £1 billion a year in the UK alone?
Firstly, it simply coopts, employs or buys former senior politicians, civil servants and diplomats to ‘advise’ and lobby for its contracts. The best known is former Home Secretary John (now Lord) Reid, a G4S board member. In recent months G4S has appointed to the new post of Director of Probation and Community Services David Griffiths, recently Deputy Director (justice policy) at the Ministry of Justice.
In January Richard Northern joined G4S Risk Management as an adviser. He is “the former British Ambassador to Libya during the period leading up to and throughout the 2011 uprising”. According to G4S, he will be “pivotal in identifying, introducing and developing relationships with prospective clients and key Libyan decision-makers”.
(First published in Open Democracy on the 12th April, 2012)