Private security firms have been contracted in the past to watch over federal facilities.

Bids sought for 12,000-strong security force for federal buildings

Only one firm will be given the contract, a radical departure from the current procedure

The federal government has called for bids from security companies interested in providing between 12,000 and 15,000 guards to protect almost 3,000 public buildings.

The Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT) published a tender on July 29 that specifies that only one company will be awarded the 16-month government contract. The successful bidder will be announced on August 23.

The guards will provide security for 2,937 buildings belonging to most federal government secretariats and agencies.

The buildings include office blocks and public hospitals located in various states and Mexico City.

The decision to seek a single company to provide the large security contingent is a radical departure from the way in which guards have been traditionally hired.

Most security contracts have previously been awarded by individual government departments to small and medium-sized companies based in the area where the protection was sought.

But most of those companies would not have the capacity to provide the number of guards sought by the government and would therefore be precluded from bidding under the new procedure.

The Federal Protection Service, a government security agency, could be among the bidders, the newspaper Reforma reported.

However, the agency currently only employs 4,000 guards, a number which would not even meet the personnel requirements for federal buildings in Mexico City.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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