Government takes on Carillion prison work at HMP The Mount in Bovingdon

The Mount Prison at Bovingdon
The Mount Prison at Bovingdon
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A government-owned company has taken on services at HMP The Mount in Bovingdon – after Carillion went into liquidation.

The construction giant had been the contractors for building and equipment maintenance, and provider of cleaning services at the prison since 2015.

But the firm collapsed last month, two years shy of the end of its contract at The Mount.

Now the government has set up Gov Facility Services Limited to take over the management services previously provided by Carillion.

Justice Secretary David Gauke, who is also MP for South West Herts, said: “We have robust contingency plans and are taking appropriate action to ensure the prison services continue to operate normally.”

But the government refused to comment on whether the contracts will be put out to tender to a private contractor in future, saying only that “future strategy is currently under review.”

Carillion’s work at HMP The Mount had been slammed in the prison’s latest Independent Monitoring Board report.

The report, from July last year, said there were “long-running failures to repair kitchen equipment, delays in repairing damaged cells, cold showers, loss of control in the stores and expensive quotes for additional work not covered by the base contract.”

It added that difficulties arised ‘persistently’ with Carillion.

The collapse last month sparked calls from the Prison Governor’s Association for a public inquiry into government policy this decade which led the prison service into an ‘appalling state’.

A spokesman said: “The debacle that is the contracting out of facility management to Amey and Carillion has come back to haunt the government in all its glory.

“These contracts have failed in their entirety to meet the needs of prisons, leaving accommodation and maintenance in a far worse state than when Governors owned their own Works Departments.

“Too much of senior management time has been spent in trying to deal with these contracts.”