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Monday, 18 August 2003
Page: 18805


Mr Rudd asked the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 4 June 2003:

(1) Can he inform the House as to the number, duration and value of contracts held with Australian Corrections Management (ACM) for the management of Australian immigration detention centres.

(2) In respect of each detention centre for which ACM has the management contract, how many people were or are employed by ACM at each facility in each of the years that ACM has held the contract.

(3) Does the contract with ACM require it to screen all its employees for (a) any previous criminal record, and (b) any charges or history of child sexual abuse.

(4) Has his department identified any breaches of any ACM contract obligation relating to screening, background checks, charges and/or convictions for child sexual abuse; if so, (a) when, (b) what are the details, and (c) what action did the department take in response to each breach.


Mr Ruddock (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The provision of detention services at immigration detention facilities was contracted to Australian Correctional Services Pty Ltd (ACS) on 28 February 1998, under a 10 year General Agreement. ACS is contracted to deliver a full range of services required at the immigration detention facilities. Actual service delivery is undertaken by Australasian Correctional Management Pty Ltd (ACM), the operational arm of ACS. This arrangement was entered into at the commencement of the contract with the consent of the Department. The Commonwealth's contract with ACS has been extended until 23 December 2003 or the tender process for detention services is completed and transition to new service delivery arrangements is in place.

The Detention Agreements that govern the provision of immigration detention services in Australia consist of a General Agreement, the Occupational Licence Agreement and the Detention Services Contract and covers the centres at Villawood, Maribyrnong, Perth and Port Hedland. Supple-men-tary agreements were signed to cover centres not commissioned at the time of the signing of the original agreements.

The Commonwealth is expecting to make payments to the value of $457m to ACS over the term of the Detention Services Contract (23 December 2003) for standard service delivery fees for each detention facility. This figure does not include payment in relation to out of scope services or infrastructure.

(2) The Detention Agreements between the Commonwealth and the ACS do not stipulate staffing levels. Clause 3.6 of the Detention Services Contract states:

“The Contractor shall ensure the staffing of the Detention Facilities is at all times adequate to deliver the Detention Services in accordance with the requirements of the Immigration Detention Standards and the General Agreement.”

As the contract is an outputs based contract the Department does not keep records of the inputs of the Services Provider. The Contractors performance is measured against the outputs stipulated in the Immigration Detention Standards and the General Agreement.

(3) Clause 3.6.1(d) of the Detention Services Contract held with ACS states:

“(d) The Contractor must ensure that all Personnel:

(i) are, and remain, of good character and good conduct and pass a national police check before appointment;

(ii) are either Australian citizens or are lawful non citizens and have the appropriate permissions to be employed;

(iii) are, and remain, efficient and have the requisite physical and psychological fitness to carry out the tasks assigned to them;

(iv) have an appreciation of the anxiety and stress Detainees may experience;

(v) have an ability to be objective in relation to a wide variety of Detainees;

(vi) have an ability to be firm, fair and understanding; and

(vii) have an understanding and appreciation of the diversity and cultural backgrounds of Detainees.”

Immigration Detention Standard (IDS) 6.2 refers to the personal attributes of staff. IDS 6.2 states:

6.2.1 All staff are, and remain, of good character and good conduct and pass a national police check before appointment.

6.2.2 All staff are efficient and have the requisite physical and psychological fitness to carry out the tasks assigned to them.

6.2.3 All staff have:

· an appreciation of the anxiety and stress detainees may experience,

· an ability to be objective in relation to a wide variety of detainees,

· an ability to be firm, fair and understanding,

· an understanding and appreciation of the diversity and cultural backgrounds of detainees.

6.2.4 Medical personnel have the capacity to recognise, assess and deal with detainees who have suffered torture or trauma.

(4) The Department has not identified any breach of any ACM contract obligation in relation to screening, background checks, charges and/or convictions relating to child sexual abuse.