Security company G4S repaying $750,000 to USFK
SEOUL — A British-based security company has paid back half of the approximately $750,000 it owes the U.S. government for failing to fully staff entry gates at a number of U.S. Forces Korea installations, according to the U.S. Army Installation Management Command Pacific Region.
The company, G4S, took over gate security at most Army bases on the peninsula on Dec. 1, 2011, but at first could not hire enough civilian guards to do the job. Most guards who worked for the previous security provider, Joeun Systems Corp., initially refused to work for G4S, claiming the company was offering lower wages and longer hours.
Because of the shortage of South Korean guards, U.S. troops were forced to help man the gates for nearly four months until G4S reached full staffing on March 23, 2012.
Despite the lingering problems with G4S, the U.S. military said in March it had no plans to terminate its contract with the company.
“We consider this matter closed,” 8th Army spokesman Col. Andrew Mutter said in a March 29 email to Stars and Stripes.
Reilly said in an email this week that the IMCOM-Pacific command decided to add new requirements to its security guard contract as G4S’ one-year deal approached its Oct. 31 expiration date.
“This offered us the opportunity to review the needs of our access control point security procedures, update new requirements to ensure we provide the most efficient and effective protection at our bases and rebid the contract,” he said.
The U.S. military had not previously disclosed the amount G4S agreed to reimburse the government for violating its contract. IMCOM-Pacific spokesman Larry Reilly said G4S is scheduled to pay the rest of the money in January.
G4S also came under fire this summer for failing to hire enough guards to fulfill its contract with the London Olympics. The company promised to reimburse the British government for the cost of deploying thousands of military personnel to provide security at the Games, a cost previously estimated to be as much as $78 million.
The command announced last week that G4S is being phased out and will be replaced by a new security provider, South Korea-based C&S Corporation, by Oct. 31.
A G4S official said this week that the company will be “very professional” during the two-month turnover period.
“We’re going to make this transition as smooth as possible,” the official said.