By Daniel Hunter

The chairman of troubled outsourcing firm Serco has announced he will leave the company.

Alastair Lyons said he took "ultimate responsibility" for "operational mis-steps", but it is understood that he was not forced to step down.

In August, Serco announced pre-tax losses of £7.3m after making a loss on certain contracts and reorganising costs. Last week, the outsourcing firm cut its profit forecasts by £20m for 2014, and cut it for 2015.

It also suffered a £1.5bn writedown on losses related to contracts which led to its share prices tumbling and a third of the company's value being wiped off.

Last year, Serco was banned from bidding for government contracts for six months after it was accused of tagging people who were either in jail or dead.

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