7 Apr 2015

G4S death: ex-CEO admits ‘systemic failures’ in vetting process

The security multinational G4S has admitted systemic failures in its vetting procedures led to the murder of one of its security guards by another in Iraq six years ago.

Former company CEO David Taylor Smith said an internal inquiry uncovered repeated screening failures in its risk management division over a prolonged period.

Mr Taylor Smith, who resigned in the wake of the firm’s ‘Olympic Games fiasco’ had been summonsed to appear as a witness at the inquest into the killing of Paul McGuigan in 2009 in Baghdad.

The 37- year-old veteran security guard was shot dead along by a former paratrooper Danny Fitzsimons when hired for protection duties in Iraq.

Fitzsimons is currently serving a 20-year sentence in an Iraqi prison after being convicted of murder in 2011.

Mr Taylor Smith told the inquest that that staff at the time thought that Fitzsimons’ case was anything other than isolated.

But he said an audit of expat recruitment files revealed 304 out of 527 – 58 per cent- failed to meet basic vetting standards and out of those nearly half – 44 per cent – had not been criminal records bureau checked.

Fitzsimons shot and killed the two men after what the inquest’s been told was a drunken brawl.

Paul McGuigan was killed by Fitzsimons.

He was hired by G4S for protection duties despite having a criminal record, and on remand on assault and a firearms offence.

The inquest has been told how he had faked a medical certificate to hide the fact he’d been diagnosed by doctors as suffering from having post-traumatic stress disorder.

He’d also been compulsory discharged from the army for unsatisfactory military conduct for drugs.

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