Further questions raised about Serco performance notices

  • 16/09/2015
Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga
Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga

Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga has again been pressed to explain why performance notices issued against private prison operator Serco were withdrawn.

Green Party MP David Clendon has questioned why seven of the 55 notices issued to Serco since 2011 for breach of contract at Mt Eden prison didn't go any further.

Mr Lotu-Iiga says under Serco's contract there's scope for notices to be withdrawn if the company makes changes to deal with the issues raised, or it's able to produce evidence the breaches didn't happen.

He told parliament on Wednesday five notices were withdrawn because the required improvements were made, one was withdrawn because the error was made by a court rather than Serco and the last was withdrawn because it was a duplicate of a previous notice.

Mr Clendon had also queried why a $100,000 fine, imposed when Serco failed to take back razors issued to inmates, was seemingly excused.

"Clearly, Serco has been let off," Mr Clendon told reporters on Tuesday.

"There's no question a fine was imposed and it was withdrawn... it seems the minister doesn't know what's happening."

Mr Lotu-Iiga has clarified that the performance notice relating to that breach was upheld, not withdrawn, but no fine was imposed.

He said the decision not to impose a fine was different to the process around withdrawing notices.

NZN

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