Private firms G4S and Serco have been removed from the Ministry of Justice’s electronic tagging contract, with monitoring responsibilities to be handed to outsourcing company Capita by the end of the financial year.

In July justice secretary Chris Grayling asked the the Serious Fraud Office to investigate allegations that G4S and Serco overcharged the government ‘tens of millions of pounds’ for tagging people who were dead, in prison or who had left the country.

Under the new arrangements, Capita will use the G4S and Serco systems and equipment.

The arrangements will last until the new contracts come into effect later in 2014. Grayling said they will ‘help prepare for implementation of the next generation of contracts next year’.

The preferred bidders for the new contracts are Capita, small technology business Buddi, aerospace company Astrium and telecommunications provider Telefonica.

The contracts are expected to be awarded in the new year and GPS tagging introduced later in 2014.

In November the SFO opened a criminal investigation into electronic monitoring contracts.