Serco is a giant outsourcing FTSE 100 company operating in the UK, described as ""probably the biggest company you've never heard of."
Areas it operates in include health, defence, nuclear power, transport, prisons, education, aviation and leisure.
- 1 Healthcare
- 2 Nuclear
- 3 Immigration
- 4 Controversy
- 5 Lobbying / PR agencies (as of 2015)
- 6 People
- 7 Board
- 8 Revolving Door
- 9 Legal firms used
- 10 Contacts
Serco health employs over 300 doctors and nurses in primary care and community health services, including out of hours care. Serco also provides facilities management in three NHS hospitals and prison health care.
In May 2012 a Guardian investigation revealed that Serco, which is poised to win much of the new wave of NHS outsourcing contracts, was under investigation by the health regulator, the Care Quality Commission. It had allegedly provided an "unsafe" out-of-hours GP service, and there were claims that it had manipulated results where it failed to meet targets. 
Serco describes itself as 'one of the world's most experienced companies in nuclear safety, technology and management'. Its nuclear Technical Consulting Services (TCS) division supports the operation of over 20 nuclear reactors, and 'serves as the lead nuclear safety advisor to Westinghouse, designer of the AP1000 nuclear reactor currently under assessment for the UK's new civil nuclear programme'. 
It also gives 'independent advice to the Royal Navy on the safety of their nuclear submarines for over 45 years, providing safety documentation, independent peer review, risk management, human factors and occupational safety support'. 
AMEC completed the acquisition in July for GBP 137 million and integrated TCS into its own business during 2012. 
Atomic Weapons Establishment
Serco manages the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) as part of a consortium with Lockheed Martin and Jacobs. According to Serco, 'AWE is one of the most advanced research, design and production facilities in the world, developing the sophisticated materials, quantum physics and computer modelling vital to the safe and effective maintenance of the UK's nuclear deterrent. AWE experts also play a leading role in nuclear non-proliferation and international nuclear security'. 
National Nuclear Laboratory
Serco partners with University of Manchester and Battelle to manage the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), 'the leading nuclear technology services provider in the UK. NNL has expertise across the full range of nuclear technology, including waste management, nuclear safety and non-proliferation, materials and corrosion and plant inspection. 
- Bellenden - lists 'Serco Defence, Science and Nuclear' as a client on the UK Public Affairs Council and APPC registers from 2010-2012.   
Serco has run immigration detention centres in the UK and Australia. In the UK, the business operated initially through Serco-subsidiary Premier Prison Services, which ran Dungavel IRC and designed, built and ran Colnbrook IRC from 2004 to 2014. Serco won the contract to run Yarl's Wood IRC in April 2007 and won the contract again in 2014, despite significant failings on the first contract.
PR Week reported in November 2010:
- "Outsourcing giant Serco is on the hunt for fresh public affairs support as it seeks to restore its reputation in Westminster following a barrage of negative headlines. Serco... has been attacked for the manner in which it conducts negotiations with suppliers. Last week, the company was forced to apologise for demanding cash rebates from its biggest suppliers in an attempt to help it deliver the Government's cost savings. According to reports, Serco's stance angered Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude because the Government had agreed with Serco that the cuts would come from its own profit margins, rather than those of suppliers and sub-contractors.
Electronic tagging contract
In June 2015 it was announced both G4S and Serco are under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for a charge of overcharging 'the government on contracts to deliver electronic tagging of convicted offenders'. The original contracts were won in 2005 and worth £700 million, but in 2013, when the contracts were due for renewal, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) asked for supporting documentation from bidders. Anomalies were found in the data and the government called in PricewaterhouseCoopers for a forensic audit, leading to both firms pulling out and the SFO being brought in.
Both firms agreed to repay the taxpayer, with Serco paying £68.5 million and G4S paying £109 million, whilst, the then justice secretary, Chris Grayling announced that the contracts would be taken over by another outsourcing firm, Capita, on an interim basis using the G4S and Serco equipment. Technology firm Buddi were supposed to take over the contract, but were dropped in March 2014, with the view of Steatite Limited taking over in December 2014.
Data from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies shows that, between March 2014 and February 2015, the mishandling of the contracts has lead to the MoJ continuing to pay G4S and Serco for the electronic tags, to the tune of £8.7 million and £4.5 million respectively. When the contracts were cancelled Grayling, 'promised "a fresh start for electronic monitoring"', Matt Ford, who undertook the work, said 'The amount of public money that has continued to be paid to these two companies for services that they have found to be managing at best incompetently, and at worst fraudulently, raises yet more serious questions about the nature of markets in public services and what happens when they go wrong.'
On the topic, the MoJ have said:
- 'G4S and Serco no longer deliver electronic monitoring services. We have always been clear Capita would continue to use the G4S and Serco equipment until new tags were developed.'
Lobbying / PR agencies (as of 2015)
Previous lobbying agencies
- Serco previously employed lobbying firm Fleishman-Hillard for a 'specific lobbying issue' until 2010.
- Four Communications also listed Serco as a client as of November 2011 on the UK Public Affairs Council register.   and throughout 2014.
- Serco previously enlisted Weber Shandwick Square Mile for its financial communications work from 2000-2005, though its relationship was on an ad hoc basis according to PR Week until the arrival of Serco director of corporate communications Dominic Cheetham from British Gas in 2004. 
- Rupert Soames, CEO: Winston Churchill's grandson
- Charles Carr, director of communications, UK & European Local & Regional Government. Formerly communications director, Defence, Science and Nuclear at Serco. Previously was director of communications, Mortgages at Lloyds Banking Group and has worked at Celerant Consulting and BAE Systems 
- Roy Gardner, chair
- Rupert Soames, CEO
- Ed Casey, Group Chief Operating Officer
- Angus Cockburn, Chief Financial Officer
- Mike Clasper: previously the Group Chief Executive of BAA plc from 2003 to 2006 and Chairman of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, HMRC, from 2008 to 2012
- Ralph D Crosby, Jr: former chairman of EADS North America
- Tamara Ingram, Executive Vice President at WPP, where she is Managing Director at Grey Group and CEO, Team P&G.
- Rachel Lomax: former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England from 2003 to 2008; ex-Permanent Secretary at both the Department for Transport and the Department for Work and Pensions. Current non-executive director of HSBC Holdings plc; non-executive director at The Scottish American Investment Company plc and Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd.
- Angie Risley, Group Human Resources Director of J Sainsbury
- Malcolm Wyman, non-executive director of Imperial Tobacco Group; ex-Chief Financial Officer of SABMiller
- Stephanie Elsy, former UK director of government relations (to 2012). Left to establish a consultancy business, Stephanie Elsy Associates, an advisory consultancy specialising in public sector services and the government contracting markets.
- Lisa Lipshaw, government relations manager (to 2014). Left to become Thameslink Communications Manager for Southeastern Railway
- Christopher Hyman, former chief executive
- Nikki Da Costa; former Serco lobbyist
- Lord Filkin, former minister at the Home Office, the Department for Education & Skills and the Department for Constitutional Affairs, and a government whip in the House of Lords, was appointed non-executive director in 2006.
Legal firms used
- Linklaters (principal legal adviser) (corporate); Ashurst; DLA Piper LLP; Hogan Lovells; Kemp Little LLP; Nabarro LLP; Pinsent Masons; White & Case LLP 
- Jane Martinson, Happy, touchy feel and driven by god, The Guardian, 24 February 2006
- Private firm becomes first to run NHS hospital, BBC. 25 Nov 2010
- Felicity Lawrence Serco investigated over claims of 'unsafe' out-of-hours GP service, guardian.co.uk, Friday 25 May 2012 21.56 BS
- Nuclear, Serco website, accessed 28 May 2012
- I-Nuclear, Amec in talks to buy Serco Group’s nuclear Technical Consulting Services, May 23, 2012, accessed 28 May 2012
- Nuclear Engineering International, AMEC acquires Serco nuclear business, 02 July 2012, acc 10 September 2012
- Association of Professional Political Consultants. APPC Register Entry, 1 Sep - 30 Nov 2010
- UK Public Affairs Council register for the Period 1 September 2011 to 30 November 2011
- APPC Register Entry, 1 Jun - 31 Aug 2011 and APPC Register Entry, 1 Dec 2011 - 29 Feb 2012
- Serco dismisses self-harm in immigration prisons as 'bargaining tool' Corporate Watch, 12 August 2011
- New Serco Yarl's Wood deal slammed Daily Mail, 24 November 2014
- David Singleton, Under-fire Serco calls for help with lobbying, Pr Week, 12 Nov 2010
- Ian Dunt MoJ paid G4S & Serco millions for electronic tagging during fraud investigation Politics, 25 June 2015, accessed 25 June 2015.
- PRCA Public Affairs Register: Consultancies – March to May 2013
- New-Biz roundup, Public Affairs News, Dec 2010
- PRCA voluntary register of lobbyists, accessed December 2015
- Register for 1st December 2013 - 28th February 2014 APPC, accessed 28 January 2015
- Register Entry for 1 September 2008 to 30 November 2008 APPC, accessed 28 January 2015
- Register 1st September 2014 - 30th November 2014 APPC, accessed 28 January 2015
- Tom Williams, Square Mile out as Serco reviews financial comms, PR Week, 17 June 2005
- Charles Carr profile, LinkedIn, accessed 28 May 2011
- Director Profiles, Serco website, accessed Nov 2015
- The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments Ninth Report 2006-2008 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 4 November 2014
- [www.chambersandpartners.com/ftse-survey Lawyers to the top FTSE 100 companies], Chambers and Partners, accessed 28 May 2012