'A major firm condemned by MPs over a recent NHS outsourcing “shambles” has been given a lucrative contract allowing private companies to arrest people for dodging court fines.
Ministers have been criticised over the decision to hand over the collection of court fines to four private companies, including Capita, a major outsourcing firm accused of putting patients at risk by delaying transfers of medical records.
The results of the tender process were quietly published in the rush before the MPs’ summer break, finalising plans to transfer services done by civilian enforcement officers, currently employed by HM Courts and Tribunal Services (HMCTS), to the private sector.
It comes as a damning report by the Public Accounts Committee said 1,000 GPs, dentists and opticians were delayed from working with patients for up to six months and nearly 90 women were dropped from cervical screening programmes due to Capita’s botched delivery of backroom services for NHS England.
Capita has apologised for “unacceptable failings in relation to the initial delivery” of the contract.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has faced criticism in the past over the outsourcing of contracts to private security firms such as Serco and G4S, the latter of which won a multimillion contract for electronic tagging of offenders despite being investigated for overcharging the government for similar services.
And last week, it was revealed that private probation companies were being bailed out for the second time as ministers were forced to ditch “catastrophic” contracts two years early.
The outsourcing sector has also been under scrutiny since the collapse of construction giant Carillion in January.'
Read more: Firm condemned over NHS outsourcing 'shambles' given lucrative contract to arrest people dodging court fines
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