Serco Australia has welcomed a report by the independent Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services (OICS) which has found Serco provided a “high quality service” in the delivery of Court Security and Custodial Services (CSCS) in Western Australia.
The report found that while there had been several issues early in the contract (during 2013-14) that Serco had risen to the challenges it encountered and that, in fact, a number of the issues and escapes it encountered were due to “system-wide weaknesses.”
“Whilst escapes are not acceptable, they are not confined to the services provided by private contractors. The Department (of Corrections) encountered a number of incidents over the same period,” Inspector Neil Morgan said.
Professor Morgan said that while Serco was not successful in extending the contract following a tender process in 2016, it was leaving the contract “in excellent standing.”
In particular Prof. Morgan said Serco was also able to adapt and take new roles that alleviated the overall pressure on the custodial system. “In 2013 Banksia Hill (Juvenille) Detention Centre was in crisis. At short notice, Serco took over juvenile transport and court custody services from the Department of Corrective Services. It managed this smoothly, professionally and effectively,” Prof. Morgan said.
Serco Chief Executive Officer Mark Irwin said the Independent report underlined the excellent work that Serco and its employees had performed under difficult circumstances.
“The Inspector has been able to take an independent view of the services we delivered for the past five years and has found that we provided an excellent service to the people of Western Australia,” Mr Irwin said.
“We are disappointed that incidents occurred early in the delivery of this contract, but we worked extremely hard to rectify these. In the five years we have delivered this service we have proved some 150,000 individual transports across five million kilometres from Kununurra in the north to Albany in the south and east to Kalgoorlie. In addition we have provided some 25,000 hours of court services.
“I am pleased Prof. Morgan has made these findings, but disappointed that our staff, who have worked extremely hard, have not previously received the recognition they should have.”
Media contact: Tim Evans, +61 409 389 358
General media enquiries: Serco media line, +61 (0) 2 9409 8700 or email@example.com
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