Financial penalties applied to the electronic monitoring contract: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/01596
Date received: 7 June 2018
Date responded: 5 July 2018

Information requested

1. How much in financial penalties has the Scottish Government applied to G4S for shortcomings in their electronic monitoring service during the life time of the contract?

2. Please outline for each year the amount of financial penalty applied for each service area failure ie: tampering or removal of tags; issues with locating those being monitored etc.

3. If possible please outline on how many occasions the Scot Gov is aware G4S were unable to locate a person on a tag and how many times is the Scot Gov aware of tags being removed.

4. In each case, where possible, please indicate if the person was located and the period of time they were untraceable.


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing some of the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. Due to separate recording of type and number of penalty/ies from the value of penalty/ies, it would take in excess of 40 hours to provide the value associated with each type of penalty across the lifetime of the contract. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at:

However, in response to your request, we are able to provide you with details of the total value of penalties, together with the number of penalties in each category.

Before doing so, it may be helpful to explain the billing model used under the contract. A charge is made for each individual monitored during the course of a month. For each individual, a charge is made for each day they are monitored, along with a charge for the installation of the monitoring equipment. Any penalties that are applied are only specific to the case in question, at the rate set out in the contract. Therefore, the value of any penalty/ies can vary from case to case.

Penalties are applied where G4S have missed the contractual requirement for (1) responding to a system generated alert and/or (2) issuing reports and/or letters. In addition, penalties are also applied for errors in their filing system.

  • Late visits: A visit is required for several tasks, including installation, de-installation and tamper alters. Where the contractual timescale is missed, a penalty is applied.
  • Late calls: G4S are required to call the monitoring equipment when certain alerts are notified. These include leaving during a curfew, returning during for start of curfew and tamper alerts. Where the call is not made on time, a penalty is applied.
  • Late reports: Reports, including breach reports, warning letters and end of monitoring reports, must be submitted within contractual timescales. Where these are missed, a penalty is applied.
  • Admin errors: G4S are required to maintain accurate records, including individual files for monitored persons. Where files are not accurate, which includes misspelled names, incorrect date of birth and paperwork in incorrect files, a penalty is applied.

The information in respect of points 1 and 2 is provided in the table below, where appropriate, from that start of the current contract (1 April 2013) up to 31 May 2018. Please note that, due to the billing method, along with the application of penalties, the proportion of a class of penalty against total penalties, will not necessarily relate to an equivalent proportion of the total value of penalties. Also provided is the total number of vists, calls and reports for each financial year of the contract.

Late Visit Late Call Late report Admin Error Total Value (£)
2013/14 100 (16,562) (0.60%) 450 (18,568) (2.42%) 449 (5592) (8.03%) 136 1135 24,851.96
2014/15 40 (15,918) (0.25%) 234 (17,257) (1.37%) 71 (5103) (1.39%) 27 372 12,063.30
2015/16 56 (17,584) (0.32%) 87 (18,299) (0.48%) 56 (5856) (0.96%) 16 215 2,420.14
2016/17 101 (21,112) (0.48%) 88 (22,330) (0.39%) 63 (7123) (0.88%) 2 254 2,222.25
2017/18 118 (25,284) (0.47%) 145 (29,017) (0.50%) 101 (8714) (1.16%) 3 367 3,824.73
2018/19 15 (4012) (0.37%) 51 (5300) (0.96%) 12 (1599) (0.75%) 0 78 679.58
Total 430 (100,472) (0.43%) 1055 (110,771) (0.95%) 752 (33,987) (2.21%) 184 2,421 46,061.96

The total paid in service credits over the period of the contract to date equates to less than 0.5% of the total amount billed.

Since the start of this contract, the following number of breach reports have been made for tampering with a tag:

2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19
184 282 270 383 231 39

A tamper alert is generated when the connection between the tag and the fitting strap is broken for any reason – the tag does not need to be removed for an alert to be generated. G4S must visit the monitored person to (1) establish the circumstance of the alert and (2) refit the tag. Where the tampering appears to be intentional, G4S must submit a breach report.

With regards the number of instances where G4S have been unable to locate a person on a tag, this information is not held as G4S are not responsible for locating individuals.

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Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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