New information shows Corrections withdrew fines issued to SERCO

New information shows that the Department of Corrections let SERCO off the hook for fines that were issued for basic failures in its management of the Mt Eden Correctional Facility, the Green Party said today.

New information shows that the Department of Corrections let SERCO off the hook for fines that were issued for basic failures in its management of the Mt Eden Correctional Facility, the Green Party said today.

Documents from the Department of Corrections show that SERCO was issued with $100,000 in fines for breaching its contract, with regards to safety razors. The Minister, in Parliament today, admitted more fines had been issued to SERCO and then withdrawn.

“The Minister needs to tell the public why Corrections decided to fine SERCO for the breach of contract and then withdrew the fines,” said Green Party Corrections spokesperson David Clendon.

“The contract was breached, documents show the breach was upheld and yet, SERCO suffered no penalties. And today, the Minister admitted, seven more penalties were withdrawn.

“The Minister has never been upfront about SERCO’s repeated failures and how much it has or hasn't been fined for them. He seems more intent on protecting SERCO and the Department of Corrections than in seeing prisons managed well.

“Almost every week more failures are being discovered, none of which the Minister admits till he is backed into a corner.

“It is inexcusable that Corrections has left SERCO off the hook, with no financial penalties, despite their repeated failures.

“SERCO was fined for a very serious breach; giving prisoners razors and then not taking them back. This is an extremely serious failure that put the lives of staff and inmates at risk.

 “It's looking increasingly like the Minister is hiding SERCO’s stuff-ups so he doesn't have to admit the privatisation experiment has failed.  

“He should issue a Final Warning to SERCO so that the process of contract termination can start,” said Mr Clendon.

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