ICAC Charges Against DCS Staff Calls Remand Centre Sale Further Into Question

17 July 2019

Reports outlining the arrests of senior public servants with responsibility for procurement in the Department of Correctional Services is of significant concern to the PSA and its members.

PSA General Secretary Nev Kitchin issued a media release early yesterday morning in response to the developments. The PSA is calling for a review of procurement practices in the Department for Correctional Services, as well as pushing for the establishment of a Parliamentary Committee on privatisations.

In light of the recent privatisation of the Adelaide Remand Centre, a deal that was done hastily and virtually in secret with notorious private provider Serco, PSA General Secretary Nev Kitchin is calling on the Marshall government to come clean about the details of the privatisation.

"The corruption charges against senior staff in the Department of Corrections raises serious questions about the integrity of recent tenders, including the privatisation of the Adelaide Remand Centre," he said.

"As a result of our legal action in the South Australian Employment Court, it's a matter of public record that the ARC deal took place under a dark veil of secrecy, with the government refusing to provide important documentation outlining why privatisation was in the public interest."

"The South Australian public should be deeply concerned that tender and procurement processes in the Department of Corrections have been influenced by people seeking to personally gain from transactions relating to public assets," said Kitchin.

"If the state government has nothing to hide, it should come clean by providing all documentation regarding the privatisation of the ARC to reassure the public that the privatisation was above board and not influenced by those seeking to personally gain from the deal," said Kitchin.

"We've said all long that privatisation is not in the public interest. The government has provided no argument or documentation to the contrary. We know that the model Serco is proposing to operate the Adelaide Remand Centre will compromise community, staff and prisoner safety."

"The PSA is also calling for a parliamentary inquiry into privatisations in South Australia, especially as it relates to the Adelaide Remand Centre, Train and Tram Operations, DPTI Road Maintenance and the section of the Lands Titles Office contract that could see Service SA and the Motor Registry sold off to private interests," he concluded.

A subsequent article was published in The Advertiser today.