The Green Party is demanding to know why SERCO’s contract has not been terminated yet despite at least six Performance Notices in the last three years.
Under the terms of SERCO’s contract, it can be terminated in the event SERCO is issued a Final Warning and then another Performance Notice within six months. Parliamentary Library data shows there were at least four notices in 2012 and the Minister’s answers to Green Party questioning shows there should have been two Performance Notices in the last financial year.
“If SERCO’s contract is not cancelled following today’s announcement, and a Final Warning issued instead, the Minister must front up and explain why a Final Warning hadn’t already been issued before now, given the number of problems with SERCO’s performance to date,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“It would beggar belief that SERCO hadn’t already been issued a Final Warning, after a prisoner’s death from injuries sustained from a fall, a prisoner riot, video of fight flubs, and evidence of drugs and alcohol being manufactured inside the prison.
“The Minister responded to Green Party questions in the House yesterday saying SERCO was fined $300,000 in the last financial year which would mean there should have been, at a very minimum, two Performance Notices.
“We already know about four Performance Notices in 2012, and at least two last year, so the question for the Minister is: were any Final Warnings issued as per the contract and if not, why not?
“It is starting to look like Corrections was letting SERCO off the hook to protect National’s failed experiments in private prisons.
“It is absurd to think SERCO were put on notice six times, at least, in the last three years and yet there has been no cancellation of the contract even though Corrections had the power to do so,” said Mr Shaw.