The UK Home Office has paid hundreds of millions of Pounds to private contractors tasked with managing the United Kingdom’s 10 immigration removal centers amid uncertainty about the profitability of the industry, local media reported.
Only one of the 10 immigration removal facilities was run by the UK Justice Ministry’s HM Prison and Probation Service, while UK private contractors G4S, Mitie, Serco, and US private contractor GEO Group managed the nine others, The Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday.
While neither the Home Office nor the contractors are required to provide fiscal information about the detention facilities, the value of some of the contracts was revealed on the UK government’s Contracts Finder website.
While two of the Mitie’s contracts amounted to 240 million pounds ($316 million) and 42 million pounds, respectively, it also won a 10-year contract valued at over 500 million pounds in December 2017, which makes it the largest immigration detention facility contract ever, according to The Guardian’s estimates.
G4S has been awarded a 90.4 million and 43.6 million pound contracts, while one of the Serco’s contracts was valued at almost 70 million pounds, and one of the CEO Group’s at over 45 million pounds.
The immigration removal centers house around 2,000-3,000 people at a time, while less than 50 percent of migrants residing there are then deported from the country. Their accommodation costs amount to around 86 pounds per day.
The profitability of the immigration removal facilities is an open issue, with the profit margin of the centers ranging from 20.7 to 41.5, according to an investigation that The Guardian conducted in 2017.
The UK government believes that the migration flow will decrease after Brexit, as the free movement between the United Kingdom and the European Union will no longer be in place. According to the UK Office for National Statistics’ estimates, around 614,000 migrants arrived in the United Kingdom in the year ending in March 2018.