Metropolitan police hat

Assembly rings alarm bells over Met outsourcing

30 September 2015

Assembly rings alarm bells over Met outsourcing

Metropolitan Police plans to contract out services to the private sector present huge risks, the London Assembly warned today.

The Budget & Performance Committee report “To Protect and Save”[1] cautions that unless the Met improves its commercial expertise, it risks a high-profile outsourcing failure similar to the G4S and Serco electronic tagging scandal.

The report finds:

  • While the Met is initially focusing on “back-office” services, the Commissioner says that it must review “all but core policing functions” to determine whether external contractors can provide services at better value.
  • Unsuccessful deals might not make the savings the Met needs, and could put its performance at risk.
  • The Met lacks commercial expertise – this must be addressed if it is to secure good deals over the lifetime of contracts.


The report comes as 445 Met staff posts will transfer to a joint venture part-owned by French outsourcing giant Sopra Steria.[2] In a contract with Cleveland Police, the same firm used zero-hours contracts. The Met needs to be up front about whether it will allow zero-hour contracts in its own outsourcing deals.

John Biggs AM, Chair of the Budget & Performance Committee, said:

“The funding challenge facing the Met is undoubtedly tough – but there is a real risk to the public if it signs a bad deal.

The Met could find itself handcuffed to a poor contract or even worse if the deal goes wrong.

In particular, the Met must ensure it has the business nous to find the right commercial partners and then manage contracts effectively to ensure Londoners’ money is spent wisely.

The stakes are very high – no-one wants to see yet another high-profile outsourcing botch.”


Notes to editors

  1. The Committee’s report “To Protect and Save” is attached.
  2. From 1 October, 445 roles in HR, payroll and procurement will transfer from the Metropolitan Police to Shared Services Connected Limited, a joint venture between the Cabinet Office and French firm Sopra Steria. The news was uncovered as part of this investigation.
  3. John Biggs AM, Chair of the London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee, is available for interview. Please see contact details below. 
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Ash Singleton on 020 7983 5769.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100