Serco staff and management have been congratulated by the Western Australian Inspector of Custodial Services for their work at Acacia Prison in an independent report released today.
Expansion of Acacia to make it Australia’s biggest prison was started in 2012 with the transfer and fill conducted between January 2015 and March 2015. The prison grew capacity by 387 prisoners but required the management of more than 700 admissions due to release or transfer to other prisons.
“This was a very high risk exercise and Serco and the Department (especially Serco, who carried both the daily and reputational risk) are to be commended for ensuring such an impressively safe and timely fill,” the Inspector, Professor Neil Morgan, said.
“Acacia is well poised for its next era. Serco has worked well with [the Department of Corrective Services] to lay excellent foundations for a positive future, foundations that must now be built on. To Serco staff and management, it has been a difficult journey at times in the past three years: well done, be proud, and keep up the good work,” the Inspector said.
Serco’s contract to manage the Prison was extended in February until 2021 and will continue to be Western Australia’s best value prison per prisoner. Professor Morgan said Serco had displayed a very strong sense of what is required and a proven capacity for innovation.
Serco Chief Executive Officer Mark Irwin welcomed the report and independent confirmation the prison was operating at a very high level.
“Through this excellent performance, we have delivered tens of millions of dollars of savings to Government over the past five years. I’m pleased that we will be providing even greater value to WA taxpayers over the next five years while delivering on the innovation Professor Morgan has noted,” Mr Irwin said.
Mr Irwin said that the savings were realised through Serco’s significant input during the build program which resulted in an intelligently designed facility that benefits from enhanced security systems, provides economies of scale and has enabled Serco to provide operational efficiencies beyond those that were originally envisaged.
“I was particularly pleased the Inspector has recognised this by noting the success of the different cohorts we have within the prison which operate as ‘communities’ targeting programs to reduce reoffending behaviour while maintaining security and safety, Mr Irwin said.
“This highlights our ongoing commitment to excellence in Western Australia, across all our contracts which deliver public services efficiently and effectively.”