To ask Her Majesty’s Government what procurement process was undertaken by the Home Office before awarding G4S the welfare services provider contract for Tinsley House pre-departure accommodation; whether it was an open tender exercise; what the duration of the contract is; and whether that contract is formally linked to G4S’s contract as custodial provider.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what arrangements are in place to ensure that children staying at Tinsley House pre-departure accommodation are not affected by being held on the same site as a place of detention; and whether, when accessing outdoor play facilities, those children will be protected from seeing and hearing the detention site.
The welfare services contract was awarded after a competitive tender process. On 21 September 2016 a notice was placed in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) to advise any interested suppliers across Europe of the opportunity to bid for the contract for welfare services at Tinsley House.
The contract that was awarded to G4S will last for an initial 3 years and can be extended on any number of occasions up to a total of 24 months, subject to a minimum extension period of 3 months on any one occasion. An award notice was placed in the OJEU on 8 February 2017 providing detail on the award to G4S. The contract is not formally linked to G4S’s contract as custodial provider at Tinsley House.
The new pre-departure accommodation (PDA) at Tinsley House will use the refurbished existing accommodation for families with children who fall outside the family returns process. It is a discrete unit with a separate entrance, with no interaction between the families accommodated in the PDA and the adult detention population. The outside play area will be screened, and the installation of external louvres and obscured glazing on windows in detainee accommodation will ensure the area is not overlooked.
The training requirements for G4S at Tinsley House PDA are equivalent to those for Cedars. As set out in Detention Services Order 19/2012 ‘Detention and Escorting Safeguarding Children policy’, updated in May 2016, all staff working with children receive suitable training, which must be at least equivalent to Tier 1 of the Home Office ‘Keeping Children Safe’.