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Carillion collapse: A contract too far?

Construction giant Carillion has collapsed. In 2014, Jonathan Derbyshire asked: are the firms that take on the government’s work just too big?

By Jonathan Derbyshire  

 

A mechanic in the north London workshop of Barclays Cycle Hire, a scheme operated by the outsourcing company Serco 

© Getty Images

In a few weeks, the Cabinet Office will pass judgement on a “corporate renewal plan” from Serco. Many people will have hardly heard of the company that provides a bewilderingly wide range of public services, from “Boris bikes” to nuclear weapons. The Whitehall review may be couched in the language of management consultancy but the stakes are high, for Serco, for British taxpayers, and for a…

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