The UK regulator has launched an investigation into whether the 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 an investigation over “suspected anticompetitive conduct” related to the process to find firms to operate certain services at the 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 Ltd and PAE Incorporated entities.
Mitie told shareholders it withdrew from the tender process for the Derwentside centre because of rules stopping one firm from winning both contracts. It added that it remains engaged in the process for the Heathrow contract, through its Care and Custody arm.
In a statement, the company said: “Mitie strongly condemns anticompetitive practices and is cooperating 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.”