In the US, there is a quaint notion that contractors will be suspended or debarred from government contracting work if they get caught engaging in contract fraud or rendering unsatisfactory performance.
It is quaint because that penalty is most often applied to small contractors, and way too often ignored when it comes to the "too big to flail" naughty big boys of government contractors.
If they will not be suspended or debarred, there must be some other penalty applied to deter wayward performance to prevent government contracting from being a mockery of procurement principles.
Boss of Serco resigns in desperate bid to help group secure lucrative government work in the future
The security firm has been rocked by fraud allegations over a number of its contracts with the Ministry of Justice. A probe into its entire portfolio of government work is due to finish next month. Ministers said they would not give any fresh contracts to Serco until the review was completed.Serco chief's exit shows companies need to think before they boast
Nobody should doubt Hyman's intention to run a decent company. The question is whether, when you've got 120,000 employees, any services business can hope to avoid regular catastrophes.
At Serco, of course, there have been more than a few recently. Allegations of overcharging on a tagging contract and dodgy record-keeping when escorting prisoners are the biggest issues. But there was also a damning official report on the state of Serco-operated Thameside prison. And "substandard" was the public accounts committee verdict on the company's operation of out-of-hours GP services in Cornwall.