Tuesday, May 17th, 2016


The events at Manchester United were ‘unfortunate’ to say the least. Procurement specialists should be turning their attention to security contracts that their business may have in place. What follows in this briefing is not intended to impugn Manchester United – the purpose of the briefing is to draw attention to situations we have encountered in our professional work.

What follows may seem like fiction. They did happen.

We worked at an overseas international airport, auditing services that were provided ‘airside’ to airlines. This required the service provider to go to the aircraft on their stands. We asked about the security measures in place and were told that the vehicles were not searched going onto the airfield. They were, however, searched coming off the airfield. We asked way. The answer was that the service staff could have stolen goods from the airfield. Can you spot the security issue?

We worked at a major construction site in Central London. One morning we were the first on site and found a security guard asleep in the security ‘cabin’. He was awoken and, un-prompted, he said that he was in his 24th continuous hour of duty because they were short staffed. Can you spot the security issue?

In another situation, we were attempting to prove, or disprove, a contractor’s attendance on a client’s site. The security services were outsourced. It became apparent that there were occasions when vehicles were simply ‘waved through’ and not logged for the vehicle’s details or the occupants. Can you spot the security issue?

We earnestly suggest two actions for our procurement colleagues. The first is to check the detail of your security contracts, not forgetting the insurance cover. The second is to have the security services audited by a specialist organisation. We can help in both scenarios.