Competition watchdog probes Mitie over immigration centre contracts

The CMA said it is considering whether competition law has been breached over a procurement process for immigration removal centre contracts.

04 March 2022

The UK competition regulator has launched an investigation into whether outsourcing firm Mitie Group has broken competition law in relation to a procurement process for immigration removal centre contracts run by the Home Office.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had launched a probe on Tuesday over “suspected anti-competitive conduct” related to the ongoing process to find firms to operate certain services at Heathrow and Derwentside immigration removal centres.

The regulator added that “no assumption should be made at this stage” that competition law has been infringed.

Mitie confirmed it has engaged with the tender process for the immigration removal centre contracts and said it expects to be “fully exonerated” through the CMA investigation.

The investigation was launched into the Mitie Group, Mitie Care and Custody Limited and PAE Incorporated entities.

Mitie told shareholders it withdrew from the tender process for the Derwentside centre due to rules stopping one firm from winning both contracts.

It added that it remains engaged in the process for the Heathrow contract, though its Care and Custody arm.

In a statement, the company said: “Mitie strongly condemns anti-competitive practices and is co-operating fully with the CMA and the investigation.

“Mitie is confident that it has no case to answer and will be fully exonerated.

“Mitie will not be issuing any further announcements in relation to the CMA’s investigation, until its conclusion.”

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