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Future operation of immigration detention services.

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Departmental Media Releases

Future Operation of Immigration Detention Services

DPS 4/97

The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs today announced the name of the preferred tenderer to begin negotiating the terms of an acceptable contract for the delivery of the full range of immigration detention and transport services.

Contract negotiations with the preferred company, Australasian Correctional Services (ACS) - a partnership between Australasian Correctional Management Pty Ltd (ACM) and Thiess Contractors Pty Ltd, will take place in the next few weeks.

The Department's acting Secretary, Mr Mark Sullivan, said that both the Department and the company are committed to building a long term relationship.

The company offers a comprehensive range of custodial services to governments, including consulting, integrated financing, design, construction, management and operation of detention centres, remand centres and prisons. Included in its management and operations are secure transportation, food and health services and a wide array of rehabilitative and educational programs.

"The provider must deliver services which meet Immigration Detention Standards which set out the Governments obligations to meet the individual care needs of detainees in a culturally appropriate way while at the same time providing safe and secure detention," said Mr Sullivan.

"The standards were developed in consultation with the Commonwealth Ombudsman and a range of other agencies, and draw on the extensive experience of the Department in providing such services."

Mr Sullivan said that the current provider of security services, the Australian Protective Service (APS), had worked in close partnership with the Department for many years.

"The Department appreciates APS's professionalism and their commitment to the welfare of the people in their care. The APS was invited to submit a proposal, but chose not to contest," said Mr Sullivan.

ACM is a subsidiary of Wackenhut Corrections Corporation which has extensive experience in the provision of immigration detention in the USA and in the UK, through its subsidiary, Premier. The group has contracts for 39 detention/ correctional facilities with over 27,594 beds.

ACM is currently the largest private provider of custodial correctional services in Australia.

Mr Sullivan said that 17 companies were invited to respond to a Request for Proposal for the provision of immigration detention services and five proposals were lodged.

Subject to successful negotiation of a contract, it is expected that a phased implementation of the new arrangements will be completed by the end of the year.

The Department currently operates Immigration Detention facilities at Villawood/Westbridge in NSW, Maribyrnong in Victoria, and Perth and Port Hedland in WA.

Date: 17 September 1997 Media inquiries: Stewart Foster (02) 6264 2176