Home Office has allowed G4S to continue running the Gatwick Immigration Removal Centres for two more years until a long-term manager is identified.
The contract for the management of Brook House and Tinsley House, which was due to expire this month, was put out for tender in November 2016. Home Office has however decided that G4S would continue with the contract for a further two years to allow for the review of two significant reports on immigration detention before a new procurement begins.
Home Office has in the meantime urged the people running immigration removal centres to treat immigration detainees with dignity and respect.
“All immigration detainees must be treated with dignity and respect, and we will accept nothing but the highest standards from those who have responsibility for their care,” a Home Office spokesperson said.
The procurement process featured a heightened level of due diligence against the allegations from the Panorama programme on Brook House Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) last year. The Home Office therefore took the time needed to consider all bids very carefully.
However, with 2 significant reviews by Stephen Shaw and Kate Lampard currently in train, the Home Office have concluded that it would be premature to enter into a new contract at this stage.
Stephen Shaw’s assessment of progress in responding to his 2016 review of vulnerability in detention is considering questions of staff culture, recruitment and training, complaints mechanisms, and the effectiveness of whistle-blowing procedures across the immigration detention estate.
The independent review of Brook House IRC that G4S commissioned from Kate Lampard last year is also looking at the factors affecting staff morale and behaviour, and attitudes to whistle-blowing. The government will publish Mr Shaw’s report in the coming months and we expect Ms Lampard’s findings later in the year.
Home Office said that relaunching the procurement process later this year, when both have published their findings, will ensure that the conclusions can be considered as part of the new contract.