The NIO will find themselves back in all-too-familiar territory soon.. in Belfast High Court. Federal Security Services have lodged papers in a court action challenging several aspects of the tendering process which led to the NIO decision to award a £25m security contract, guarding Northern Ireland’s courts, to rival security company Maybin. From the Belfast Telegraph report
Maybin, who currently guard the courts, was discovered to be operating without a licence last summer, when the tendering process for a new five-year contract began. A previous licence had lapsed, although the firm has not revealed the length of time they operated without one.
The NIO issued them a new licence days later and accepted their tender for the multi-million contract. The NIO has refused to answer questions about whether the licensing process was fast-tracked.
Police have also investigated the licensing breach, since security firms are required under anti-terrorism laws to renew their licence annually. A PSNI file on the matter has been passed to the prosecution service.
The NIO took over the tendering procedure for the courts because police are also investigating the circumstances of another contract award to Maybin, when the company was under different ownership. Court officials were entertained on a yacht belonging to Richard Maybin, who sold the company last year.