G4S Chief Executive Officer Ashley Almanza managed to avoid important questions posed by shareholders at the private security contractor’s annual shareholder meeting in Surrey on 25th May.
Almanza instead praised the recent BBC documentary that exposed the abuse that was being meted out by G4S personnel at G4S Medway Secure Training Centre in Kent. The child prison was being operated by the security contractor.
Remuneration and rewards for staff
One shareholder posed a question regarding performance-related bonuses paid to senior managers who were in charge of the child prison at Medway. They received bonuses ranging from 10 per cent to 20 per cent of their annual salary even though the Chief Inspector of Prisons blamed the prison management for failing to protect the children housed in the Medway prison.
Almanza did not comment on the bonuses paid to senior executives, but did mention that the offending prison officers were removed from their jobs and were investigated by the police.
Conflict of interest
Another shareholder wanted to know more about the hiring of Paul Kempster, who was a civil servant and in charge of prison contracts for 12 prisons in the UK. The shareholder wanted to know whether sufficient time had lapsed between Kempster’s previous job and the beginning of his contract at the private security contractor.
Almanza and G4S Chairman John Connolly hesitated answering, but after checking with other staff, they confirmed that Kempster had recently joined G4S and they assume that sufficient time had lapsed before he joined the company, as is the procedure.
Similarly, other questions related to a Birmingham prison riot in December 2016, faulty electronic monitoring equipment supplied to the Ministry of Justice and prisoner safety were evaded by both Almanza and Connolly. However, Connolly did ask the shareholders to send their questions in writing, saying that the board would answer them.