Serco Group – “the biggest company you’ve never heard of”

I’ve had long standing issues with Serco ever since I was a teenager (long and not particularly interesting story!) and, as I’ve got older, I’ve found the extent of their activity and its general opaqueness rather troubling. However until I happened to check the Wikipedia page I didn’t realise quite how much stuff they do:

  • Home Affairs: Serco operates the National Border Targeting Centre for the UK Border Agency and provides the Carrier Gateway – the interface between carriers and the Agency.[5]
  • Aviation: Serco provides air traffic control services at international airports in the United Arab Emirates[36] and at some smaller airports in the USA and Canada.[37][38] Since 2004 Serco have also had £5m a year from the US government to manage airports in Iraq.[39] Serco also operate Scatsta Airport in the Hebrides.[40] In June 2010 Serco signed a £4million contract to operate all air traffic control services for Coventry Airport.[41]
  • Education: Serco holds a 10 year contract with Bradford City Council to manage and operate the local education authority,[46] providing education support services to the City’s schools, and similarly manages and operates Walsall[47] and Stoke-on-Trent local education authorities.[48] Serco is one of Ofsted‘s three Regional Inspection Service Providers, responsible for school inspections in the English Midlands.[49] Serco is also the provider of a Student information systemFacility, used in schools and colleges in several countries.[50]
  • Drivers’ licensing: Serco, through a purpose-made division Serco DES, holds a 10 year, $114 million contract with the Province of Ontario to operate the province’s DriveTest driver examination centres. These tests include vision, road, and knowledge tests for all persons seeking to become a licensed automobile driver in the province.[37]
  • Serco also administers a number of publicly funded websites in the UK, including the Business Link website.[52]
  • Serco publishes a magazine, Ethos Journal, to stimulate thought and provoke reaction to the big issues shaping the world of public services. Ethos is aimed at public sector leaders, politicians, academics and policy specialists debating the future of public services today.[54]

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