26 January 2018 | Martin Read
In a significant development following the collapse of Carillion, the Ministry of Justice has set up its own government-owned facilities management company, Gov Facility Services Limited, to deliver FM services to the prisons previously served by the now-liquidated outsourced service provider.
In a statement, the MoJ says that the new company will "take over the delivery of the prison Facilities Management (FM) services previously provided by Carillion such as cleaning, reactive maintenance, landscaping and planned building repair work."
The new firm is taking on the 1,000 staff and sub-contractors previously employed by Carillion, maintaining their conditions of employment. The FM services, provided to 52 prisons across the South West, South Central, Kent & Sussex, Greater London and East of England, "will continue unaffected in the transfer".
In a statement following the announcement, permanent secretary Richard Heaton said: "The Ministry of Justice's (MOJ) priority is to ensure continuity of service. We are implementing our contingency plan for the prisons facilities management contracts held by Carillion.
"This means the work that was undertaken by Carillion will move to a new government-owned company set up for this purpose. I'd like to thank all the Carillion staff who are moving across into the new company, and reassure them that their jobs are secure. The vital work they do to maintain and improve our prisons is greatly valued and appreciated.
"The new company has already been created and will take responsibility for the prison FM services as soon as the formal transfer of staff has occurred.
FM is a critical service for Her Majesty's Prisons and Probation Service (HMPPS) and there is an ongoing need for a continuing service.
"MOJ and HMPPS will work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure a stable service which retains skilled and knowledgeable staff working on the FM contracts.
"The government has been clear that its priority is to ensure the smooth running of public services. Our robust contingency planning and preparations for the transition to Gov Facility Services Limited has meant there have so far not been any disruptions to prison maintenance."