Minister must come clean over reports of Serco price gouging

January 7th, 2014 by: Kwinana Electorale Office

Tuesday 07 Jan 2014

Fast Facts:

Minister Joe Francis must detail and explain reports of massive price gouging by Serco for prisoner transport.
Minister must confirm whether Serco will be fined $200,000 for the escape of two prisoners in Geraldton.
Barnett Government must establish an independent judicial inquiry into the Serco prison affair.

The Barnett Government must immediately explain reports of rampant price gouging by Serco for prisoner transport.

Shadow Minister for Corrective Services Paul Papalia said the Barnett Government was imposing secrecy when it came to Serco’s contracts with corrective services.

“The Barnett Government is letting Serco treat WA taxpayers like mugs,” Mr Papalia said.

“They are taking us for a ride and Joe Francis and Colin Barnett are letting it happen.”

Minister for Corrective Services Joe Francis must explain the following allegations of excessive fees and quotes for prisoner transport that were aired on 6PR radio yesterday:

  • $40,000 to transport a prisoner 15 km outside of Broome;
  • $30,000, to take two prisoners 2 km outside of Broome;
  • $23,000 to transport a prisoner to a funeral from Geraldton to Carnarvon;
  • $12,000 to transport a prisoner to a funeral in Roebourne. The cemetery is approximately 250 metres from the prison; and
  • $3,000 for a round trip in a maxi cab in Broome;

“If these reports are true – it is rampant price gouging,” Mr Papalia said.

“Western Australians deserve a thorough explanation by the Minister to ensure Serco are not taking advantage of a contract written and signed by the Barnett Government in 2011.

“The Minister must confirm if the $100,000 penalty for each escapee will be incurred by Serco for the fiasco over the weekend.”

Mr Papalia said the Minister must confirm whether or not Serco paid the $200,000 in fines when two prisoners from the Wandoo prison escaped custody on December 3, 2013.

“A full breakdown of the cost of the manhunt over the weekend still needs to be made public and it remains uncertain whether Serco will pay this bill,” Mr Papalia said.

“The Barnett Government has let Serco get away with excessive charges and it is time for an open and accountable inquiry, fully independent of the Barnett Government.

“Mr Francis continues to blame everyone but himself, he is obviously not across his brief.”


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