Capita’s Army recruitment has been slammed by Labour for “failing on every measure”.
Speaking ahead of Armed Forces day, Labours Shadow Defence Secretary, Nia Griffith vowed to axe the deal with the outsourcing giant over its failures to find enough people to join the Forces – The Mirror reports.
She said: “Capita’s recruitment contract is failing on every measure. It is not doing its basic job of recruiting more people to the Army and it is ripping off the taxpayer too.
“The next Labour government will take this failing contract back in house and guarantee a better deal for recruits and taxpayers alike.”
The comments follow Griffith’s pledge to review all Ministry of Defence outsourcing contracts.
The contract, which is worth about £44million a year, was signed in 2012, and is due to end in 2022.
Through the Recruiting Partnering Project, Capita has been tasked with delivering thousands of new recruits. However, concerns have been raised over the success of the partnership, after manpower levels dropped to 77,000 – 5,000 troops below the 82,000 target.
On top of the pricey contract, there have been delivery issues. Griffith added:
“I have heard so many stories of potential recruits having problems with IT systems or waiting for months for their applications to be processed.
“Frankly, it is just not good enough. Tory Ministers know about these problems – I have raised it with them on several occasions – but they have decided to stick their heads in the sand and avoid taking decisive action.”
Figures uncovered by Labour show that from February 2012 to March 2017, recruitment contracts cost £751.9million compared with estimates of £698.4million.
However, earlier this month Capita won a new £500million contract from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to run its UK military fire and rescue services – despite a report finding the outsourcer has the highest possible risk rating.
The contract will affect around 2,000 staff at 78 defence fire stations worldwide.
An MoD spokesman defended the decision, saying all suppliers they use are “subject to robust assessments” before being handed contracts and are “closely monitored.”
However, Unions have condemned the deal, with Unite describing the decision as “deeply alarming”. “Unite will now be ensuring that jobs are not cut and that the pay and conditions of our members are not squeezed in order to boost Capita’s profits,” it said.