15:36 13 August 2012
When private security firm G4S were incapable of meeting their quota of officers to protect the 2012 Olympic Games, thousands of troops were deployed to help. And now, G4S have donated millions to the armed forces, in what's perceived as a 'thank you' plea.
The firm collected on a £284m contract to provide 10,400 staff for Olympic events but when their self-proclaimed "humiliating shambles" failed to supply enough, the military sent 18,000 army, navy and air force staff to help postponing some of their leave in the process. Around 4,700 of those stood in directly for roles originally assigned to G4S while the company publicly expressed regret for ever taking on the job.
G4S's donation of £2.5m is said to go to armed forces sports and welfare organisations.
While, G4S is collecting their full management fee for their Olympic contract, it's understood that the company expects to lose between £35m and £50m. The damage to their reputation could also be lasting on their shares.
A G4S spokesman said: "We wanted to recognise the huge contribution made by the military after it became clear that there would be shortfall in workforce delivery.
"After close consultation with the military it was decided that a substantial donation to a charity of their choice was the most appropriate response."
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond was quoted by the BBC: "The armed forces provided more to the security and protection of the Games than had originally been planned, but as always they have carried out their tasks with professionalism and good humour.
"This contribution... is welcome news for the service welfare funds and will go some way to recognising the inconvenience and extra burden that this commitment has placed upon our forces and their families."
Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards also weighed in and was quoted by the BBC: "The armed forces are pleased to accept this donation.... It recognises all the hard work and commitment service personnel have displayed during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
"Together with G4S, the men and women of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force have delivered a safe and secure Olympics.
"I am glad that they are receiving the gratitude and recognition for the excellent work, not just from the public, but from those they are working alongside."
G4S have pulled out of bidding wars for contracts for the next Olympics and football World Cup - both of which are to take place in Brazil.
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