Background to the report

On 15 January 2018, Carillion declared insolvency and the Official Receiver, an employee of the Insolvency Service, started to liquidate its assets and contracts. Carillion was a British multinational company that provided facilities management and construction services. It operated in the UK, Canada and the Middle East and employed around 45,000 people. At the time of liquidation it employed around 18,200 people in the UK and had around 420 contracts with the UK public sector including direct contracts, sub-contracts, and special purpose vehicles to deliver private finance schemes. These included services for hospitals, schools, the armed forces, prisons and transport.

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Content and scope of the report

This report focuses on the role of the UK government in preparing for and managing the liquidation. We have not assessed the actions of Carillion, its directors, or its advisers. This report has five parts:

  • Carillion’s role in the market for government services (Part One);
  • the Cabinet Office’s monitoring of Carillion as a strategic supplier (Part Two);
  • the government’s contingency planning for Carillion’s possible failure (Part Three);
  • the government’s response to Carillion’s request for support (Part Four); and
  • Carillion in liquidation (Part Five).

“When a company becomes a strategic supplier, dependencies are created beyond the scope of specific contracts. Doing a thorough job of protecting the public interest means that government needs to understand the financial health and sustainability of its major suppliers, and avoid creating relationships with those which are already weakened. Government has further to go in developing in this direction.”

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO


Publication details

Press release

View press release (7 Jun 2018)

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