Malcolm Naudi, the spokesperson for Group 4, gave comments to MaltaToday on the issue of security contracts at Mater Dei
G4S Security Services (Malta) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of G4S plc, was awarded the contract to provide security services at Mater Dei Hospital by Skanska, the building contractors, in 1998.
The Foundation for Medical Services, who took over the running of the hospital from Skanska last December, gave G4S a one-year contract as part of the handing-over process. This was done because G4S were well versed with all the security-related issues at the hospital.
The contract is due to expire shortly and government is expected to issue a new tender for internal security services at Mater Dei Hospital in the coming weeks.
Margins in the security industry are relatively low since this is a highly labour-intensive sector and a high proportion of the costs are absorbed in wages. The rates per hour have remained practically unchanged throughout the 10-year period that G4S has been providing security services at the hospital, increasing by a mere 1.3%.
So the value of this contract – at €2.25 million – in no way should suggest that this was a particularly lucrative contract for the company.
There may also be a perception that Mater Dei Hospital is full of security officers.
At any one time the maximum amount of G4S staff employed to give internal security services at the hospital during the day is 38, with 20 security guards providing the service in the evenings and overnight.
In order to minimise this perception, G4S has decided to invest in new uniforms for the members of its staff who provide clerical services to the hospital under a separate agreement with the government since these have, to date, been wearing the same uniforms as the security officers.
Having served in a security capacity in Mater Dei Hospital for over a decade, from past experience it is essential to underline how vital it is for a government hospital to be served with such a security infrastructure to protect the assets of such an entity.