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Regional Processing Centre in Nauru
Commonwealth government's responsibilities relating to the management and operation of the Nauru Regional Processing Centre

MUNNINGS, Mrs Kate, Chief Executive Operations, Logistics, Construction and Consulting, Transfield Services

OSBORN, Mr Derek, Executive General Manager, Logistics and Facilities Management, Transfield Services

O'SULLIVAN, Ms Erin, Commercial and Strategy Manager, Transfield Services

WHITE, Mr Daron, General Manager Logistics, Logistics and Facilities Management, Transfield Services

WILLIAMS, Ms Angela, Commercial, Strategy and Systems Director, Transfield Services

Committee met at 08:59

Evidence from Ms O'Sullivan was taken via teleconference—

CHAIR ( Senator Gallacher ): I declare open this public hearing of the select committee on the recent allegations relating to the conditions and circumstances at the regional processing centre in Nauru. This is a public hearing and a Hansard transcript of proceedings is being made. The committee prefers to hear evidence in public. We may agree to take evidence confidentially if it is relevant. The committee may publish confidential evidence later, but we would ask before doing so. It is important that witnesses give the committee notice if they want to give evidence in private. In addition, if the committee has reason to believe that certain evidence may reflect badly on a person, the committee may direct that that evidence be heard in private.

I remind all witnesses that in giving evidence to the committee they are protected by parliament privilege. It is against the law for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness because of the evidence given to a committee. If they did, the action may be treated by the Senate as a contempt. It is also a contempt to give false or misleading evidence to the committee. Witnesses should be aware that, if in the giving of their evidence they make adverse comment about another individual or organisation, that individual or organisation will be made aware of the comment and given a reasonable opportunity to respond to the committee. If a witness objects to answering a question, the witness should state the grounds of the objection and the committee will determine whether it will insist on an answer.

On behalf of the committee I would like to thank, for their time and their cooperation, all those who have sent their representative here today. I now welcome representatives from Transfield Services. Information on parliamentary privilege and the protection of witnesses and evidence has been provided to you. We have received your submission, which we have numbered submission No. 29. I invite you to make a short opening statement, and I will then invite members of the committee to put questions to you.

Mrs Munnings : Transfield Services welcomes the opportunity to again assist this inquiry into the conditions and circumstances at the regional processing centre in Nauru. As with the independent Moss review, we have continued to cooperate fully with the committee by providing detailed submissions to the committee outlining the services we provide in Nauru, responding to the committee's questions on notice, and answering any claims in submissions by other parties that refer to the services to asylum seekers we provide under our contract with the department.

As I said at the committee's earlier public hearing, Transfield Services welcomes the Moss review recommendations as an opportunity to continue to improve the services we provide in the centre. Over the past six months we have been working closely with the department to implement all the recommendations that are applicable to us. I wish to reiterate that our team invests considerable time and effort in carefully analysing our role in the centre.

Transfield Services provides a number of important services for asylum seekers living in the centre. In the single adult male accommodation, we are the lead service provider, with responsibility for the welfare services, logistics and facilities management. In the family accommodation, Save the Children is the lead service provider, with responsibility for welfare services for single women and families. We work closely and collaboratively with Save the Children in providing our logistics and facilities management support at the family accommodation. Our clear objective in all the services is to provide care and support to asylum seekers in a way that enhances their overall wellbeing, and I strongly believe that our team is making a positive contribution.

We work closely with asylum seekers in developing all aspects of the services we provide, including the content of our educational, cultural and recreational programs, the layout of the facilities at the centre and the menu we offer. We seek and receive feedback from asylum seekers in the centre on the services we provide. For example, in the past week, our team provided 224 different activities for asylum seekers, the majority of which were offered at night, due to Ramadan. Along with other service providers, we have worked collaboratively with the Nauruan government in providing the logistical support to open the centre so that asylum seekers can leave the centre and participate in the broader Nauruan community. Also, to improve personal safety and privacy for asylum seekers, we have recommended and overseen a range of improvements to the infrastructure and facilities at the centre.

We pride ourselves on the delivery of our logistics and facilities management services. The logistical challenge is significant. In the past week alone, we offered 4,320 places for asylum seekers to participate in our educational, cultural and recreational activities. We arranged for and received delivery of almost 21,000 bottles of water, 3 million litres of bulk water and 8.1 tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables. Also, we prepared 22,300 meals.

The environment at the centre can be complex. That is why Transfield Services has in place carefully designed policies and culturally appropriate procedures. We expect all our staff and contractors to put the highest priority on the care and wellbeing of asylum seekers, and we are committed to equipping our staff with the skills, knowledge and understanding to meet this expectation. Where any allegation is made via the multiple avenues for lodging a complaint, whether it be a complaint from an asylum seeker, a staff member, a contractor or a whistleblower, we work closely with the department and the other service providers to ensure the allegation is appropriately investigated. Also, as highlighted in the Moss report, where an allegation is substantiated we have demonstrated that we act firmly and decisively.

Along with the department, the Republic of Nauru, and our service providers, including IHMS, Save the Children, and our subcontractor Wilson Security, we continue to work hard to create an environment in which asylum seekers and staff feel safe and supported and are able to raise issues of concern. The care and wellbeing of asylum seekers is paramount to all of us. The team appearing before you today has executive responsibility for the services we provide under our contract with the department. We are well equipped to answer your questions and provide additional details on areas the committee wishes to cover. I am going to ask each member of our team to introduce themselves and outline their areas of responsibility.

My name is Kate Munnings, Chief Executive Operations, and I am the chief executive responsible for our contract with the department to provide welfare, logistics and facilities management services at regional processing centres and Nauru and Manus province. By way of background, I qualified and worked as a registered nurse, specialising in HIV and AIDS, and spent many years working closely with some of the most vulnerable members of our community. I am also a qualified lawyer, with over 20 years experience. In 2006 I joined Transfield Services, serving as the company's chief risk and legal officer and company secretary, before being appointed to my current role, in early 2014.

CHAIR: Excuse me, Mrs Munnings, we are not going to have a statement from everyone at the table today. They can introduce themselves as they are asked a question, but we do not have enough time for people to make an opening statement as they go along.

Mrs Munnings : Okay.

CHAIR: From 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015, how much was Transfield paid by the Commonwealth government?

Mrs Munnings : I will refer that question to Mr Osborn. It would have been a portion of the revenue that was published in the Australian aid public forum. I will just ask Mr Osborn to provide those details.

CHAIR: Most Australians would know exactly how much they earned last year, because they have a group certificate. Presumably, you get paid as well, so how much did you earn last year.

Mr Osborn : I am happy to seek that information for you.

CHAIR: You don't know?

Mr Osborn : I do not have that detail to hand.

CHAIR: You don't know how much Transfield earned last year, from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015?

Mr Osborn : Again, I will happily take—

CHAIR: What is your title, Mr Osborn?

Mr Osborn : Executive general manager, Logistics and Facilities Management.

CHAIR: And you don't know that?

Mr Osborn : Those matters are commercial ones. We do not publish those matters—

CHAIR: They are published tenders.

Mr Osborn : We do publish tenders, absolutely.

CHAIR: And so does AusTender?

Mr Osborn : Absolutely. The details of tenders that we win are published on AusTender.

CHAIR: Perhaps you had better take it on notice, but it is not an auspicious start. You have told us all the good work you are doing. I have simply asked: how much does that cost? Your answer is that you do not know.

Mrs Munnings : I think Derek has outlined that on AusTender the amount of the contract is published. It was $1.2 billion for 20 months work. We are a publicly listed company. We can provide that detail. I understand the accounts are still being worked through. That will be published as part of our accounts.

CHAIR: So your answer is that it is some portion of $1.2 billion?

Mrs Munnings : Correct.

CHAIR: You will take it on notice and give me the precise amount?

Mrs Munnings : We will provide you with further detail.

CHAIR: Who would like to start—Senator Hanson-Young?

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Obviously quite a few questions remain from the last time that we saw you. You have given us some answers to questions on notice. I want to go to the issue of the whistleblower hotline. Mrs Munnings, you spoke about that at our last encounter. In answer to questions on notice, you have now confirmed that that hotline has never actually been used. It has also been put to us by a number of Transfield staff as well as Wilson's staff—former staff members who have submitted to this inquiry—that they had no idea that this whistleblower hotline even existed. It has not been used. Staff say that they do not know that it even existed. I would like to know when the hotline was established and what information was given to staff about its establishment.

Mrs Munnings : Just to clarify your question, you are looking for the details of when the whistleblower hotline was established in the company overall and when staff in the centre were provided details in relation to the whistleblower hotline? Is that the correct understanding?

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Yes, because your own information to our committee is that it has never been used—from staff on Nauru. Yet it was put to us by you at the last hearing—

Mrs Munnings : Correct.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: that this was the avenue by which people had an opportunity to raise concerns about mistreatment and misconduct inside the facility.

Mrs Munnings : It is one avenue. There are approximately at least 11 avenues through which incidents and allegations or any concerns can be raised. The whistleblower hotline is one avenue. I will ask Angela to provide further details on the incident management processes to give you and the committee sufficient detail on how broad and how many avenues there are available. The whistleblower hotline is one. It is available to Transfield Services staff. Since our last appearance, there has been further training. The training is included in the induction process, so every staff member that comes to the centre is inducted, even those who are visitors, and the whistleblower hotline forms part of that training.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Just to be clear, you reject the evidence given by your employees that they did not know about the existence of the hotline?

Mrs Munnings : What I am outlining is the process through which we communicate the presence of the hotline. I am confident that we train our staff in relation to the hotline. Many of the expatriate staff come from Transfield Services' other operations and therefore it is well known throughout the operation, our entire company, that this is available to them.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Then how do you explain the fact that it has never been used?

Mrs Munnings : Perhaps it is the opportunity to register complaints and lodge allegations and give further detail through the other means. I might pass to Angela to provide detail of the other opportunities that are available to staff—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Let's try and be specific here. You said there were at least 11 avenues.

Mrs Munnings : Correct.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: I would like to know what you believe the 11 avenues are.

Mrs Munnings : Angela, can you take the evidence from there, please?

Ms Williams : I can. First of all, any person within the centre—asylum seekers or our own personnel or other personnel from stakeholders—has the opportunity to approach any one of the line management. Second of all, they are able to approach any member of security to report an information report or an incident that has been alleged to have occurred. They may also speak to their case managers. They also have the opportunity to speak to our cultural advisers to have a culturally appropriate channel that they may feel more—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: I just want to be clear here: I am talking about staff who want to raise concerns, and I think you have just drifted into asylum seekers being able to speak to their case managers—

Ms Williams : Which is an avenue for them to report incidents, but—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Yes, but I am asking about—

Ms Williams : specifically for our staff, they obviously have their line management. That would be the first port of call. If they are not able to or they do not feel comfortable in speaking to their line management they are obviously able to speak to any other persons of management within the centre, including the operations manager, who is the most senior Transfield Services person on site. If they believe there has been a criminal matter that has occurred they have the opportunity and the avenue to speak directly to the NPF or to the department on site. They also have a complaints and request process. I believe we have discussed this process previously, and it has also been included in some of our submissions. It is available to asylum seekers, but that process also applies to our staff and to personnel of other stakeholders. In relation to the whistleblower hotline, as Kate has mentioned we have had this whistleblower hotline in place for a long time. The number is actually on the backdrop of every person's screen at work, so for someone to say that maybe they were not aware of it—it is definitely advertised, and as soon as someone logs into their computer every day they will see that number and they are obviously able to avail themselves of that.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: But they have not. It has never been used according to your own information.

Ms Williams : I believe Kate may have clarified in her evidence that since our last submission it has been used twice.

Mrs Munnings : Since our last appearance and since we submitted our responses to questions on notice it has been used twice.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: When was it used?

Mrs Munnings : I will again refer to Angela for the precise dates.

Ms Williams : In relation to the precise dates, I do not have that information at hand, but I can tell you one was approximately two weeks ago and the other one was approximately six weeks ago.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: So perhaps through the promotion of this inquiry people now know that it exists.

Mrs Munnings : Senator, I think it is fair to say that we have included it in our induction program and it is on everybody's computer, as per Angela's evidence.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Except that prior to this inquiry no-one used it.

Mrs Munnings : It is encouraged, it is independently operated—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: It is clearly not a very effective tool, is it?

Mrs Munnings : Senator, it is independently operated, so people are free to use it without fear of retribution. It is available to all staff.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Mrs Munnings, you can describe it however you want, but the fact remains that the evidence that has been given to this committee about the misconduct within the Nauru detention centre was never—the whistleblower hotline has not been used to raise any of these allegations or any of these issues, so it is clearly not a useful tool, even from your own perspective surely, at finding out what is going on inside your own operations.

Mrs Munnings : We actually encourage people to refer to line management so that we can immediately respond because if there is an incident of concern, if there is a complaint that is made, an immediate response, both from a welfare perspective and from a logistics facilities management—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: I find it interesting: the argument put to us by you at the last hearing was that everything should be okay because there is a whistleblower hotline. Now we are being told not only has it not been used—or that now it has been used only twice since the last hearing—but actually there are all of these other avenues that people should be using instead. I am going to leave questions there and move on to some other issues.

There are a number of responses you gave about the number of cases of child abuse that Transfield is aware of: 30 cases of child abuse involving allegations against staff; four to five exchanges of sexual favours for contraband by staff; up to 33 allegations of sexual assault and rape. These are pretty high numbers of very serious incidents. What do you think the public should think about the use of taxpayer money for a big company like your own when these numbers of allegations of very, very serious misconduct, of abuse, of assault are being reported?

Mrs Munnings : Obviously we find any harm to another human being completely unacceptable. However, I will give some context for the details that we have provided to the committee, and then I will ask Angela, supported by Erin, to provide further evidence in relation to any specific incidents. We collect information that is broad. What you have referred to were incidents involving minors. We collect information to help us design and improve our services; so that data includes details that a school would collect in relation to children fighting and inappropriate discipline. Those numbers include that sort of detail.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: No, I am reading: 'No. of incidents involving allegation against staff': 'Child Abuse, 30'; 'Exchange of Sexual Favours for Contraband, 4'; and 'Sexual Assault/Rape, 15.'

Mrs Munnings : In relation to the first category you read out, it is incidents involving minors.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Yes, child abuse.

Mrs Munnings : It includes fighting with children, fighting between children and other data that we collect because we see—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: It says: 'Number of incidents involving allegations against staff.'

Mrs Munnings : I will pass to Angela to read the definition of incidents involving minors. We collect reports from the perspective of the asylum seeker, so if a child or a parent feels they have been inappropriately disciplined that information is collated and included in that number that you have read out. Angela, you might want to read out to the committee the specific definition of data that we collect in relation to those incidents.

CHAIR: Mrs Munnings, if we have been provided with documentation, then someone has compiled that documentation. Is there someone who can speak to the actual content of that documentation?

Mrs Munnings : We will be reading from our responses to our questions on notice; that is what we will be reading from.

CHAIR: There is a specific headline there of: 'Child Abuse, 30'. Can we get the detail of those 30 cases?

Mrs Munnings : It is incidents involving minors. We can clarify for the committee the definition of what is involved in that, and the sort of data that we collect and the incidents that we reported. As I said, it is taken from the perspective of the asylum seeker. So if an asylum seeker or their parent feels that there has been an incident that they want reported that is the perspective we take it from. Therefore, there are a lot of incidents reported that are captured within that number. Angela, please take the evidence from there.

Ms Williams : In relation to the definition, as Kate said, it is very broad. We capture as many incidents as possible for a complete and transparent process, and I confirm to the committee that we investigate each and every single one of those. In relation to the broadness of the definition, it includes things such as children fighting. It relates to family and family members having inappropriate discipline—their guardian, their sibling or their parents. It may include incidents relating to inappropriate discipline from a teacher, or allegations of physical abuse of a child from an adult transferee or a staff service provider. It also includes: incidents relating to allegations of sexual abuse through a parent, a guardian or a sibling; inappropriate sexual contact from a child to another child, an asylum seeker adult to a child, or a service provider to a child; and any other broad allegations of sexual abuse. In relation to the breakdown relating to service providers, as you have mentioned, of the 67 there were 30 of those that related to service providers.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Can you repeat that? Can you say those numbers again?

Ms Williams : In relation to the 67 that you mentioned earlier, 30 of those related to incidents involving staff.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: We have just wasted five minutes. That is exactly what I referred to: 30 cases involving staff.

Ms Williams : I can provide you with the breakdown of that.

Mrs Munnings : That is, the breakdown of which subcategory they fell into. Of the 30 incidents that you are referring to, Senator, they fall within those various subcategories that Angela has just read out to the committee.

Ms Williams : In relation to the breakdown between service providers, they include incidents relating to Save the Children, to The Salvation Army, to Transfield Services and to Wilson Security staff. In relation to the subcategories of the types of incidents, the majority of those relate to allegations around physical contact. Of the 30, that is 24. There is one of an inappropriate relationship. There are two deemed to be sexual assault in relation to contact. There is one of sexual harassment. There is one of use of force in a dispute between two minors, where a security guard intervened to stop the fight. And there is one allegation of verbal abuse.

Mrs Munnings : We collect a lot of information so we can take an immediate response. I just clarify that Save the Children are responsible for investigating any incident involving minors. We provide them with whatever support they request from us. But in all these incidents Save the Children is the lead service provider and is often the reporting party.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Mrs Munnings, I am not interested today in continuing to hear contractors passing the buck for responsibility. Everybody of course has to be responsible for the conduct of their own staff—of course. But Transfield Services are the head contractor who run the Nauru detention centre, and you are not getting away with blaming other contractors for the appalling situation inside the Nauru detention centre. I am not going to have it and I do not think anyone on this committee is going to cop that.

Mrs Munnings : Just to clarify, Save the Children is the lead contractor in the family accommodation.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Mrs Munnings, Transfield Services is awarded a contract of over $1 billion worth of Australian taxpayer money. I am not interested in sitting here and having the blame shifted. I will continue with my questions.

Mrs Munnings : Senator, I confirm that we work collaboratively with all the stakeholders, who are all working in the centre under commercial terms.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Out of the 30 cases of child abuse as outlined in the table given by your own answers to questions, how many incidents involving staff—those 30 cases—have been referred to the police?

Mrs Munnings : I will ask Erin via the phone to provide the data. As I said, Save the Children, the lead service provider in the family accommodation, are responsible under the child safeguarding protocol for investigating all matters involving minors. Erin, can you please work through our records as to how many have been referred to the police?

Ms O'Sullivan : I can confirm that of the 67 allegations that have been received a total of 12 have been referred to the NPF. I can confirm that 31 have been referred to Save the Children in accordance with the child safeguarding protocol. And a further nine complaints have been withdrawn subsequently.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Could you tell me whether any Transfield staff members or subcontracted staff members inside the detention centre have been charged for any of these matters?

Ms O'Sullivan : I can confirm that, as a result of that, there have been six staff dismissals, two staff removed from sight and one staff member suspended in relation to all 30 of those allegations.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: That is dismissal from working within the facility. Have they been charged with any criminal offence as a result of their abuse of children?

Ms O'Sullivan : I am unware of any charges being laid in relation to those 30 incidents, no.

CHAIR: Ms O'Sullivan, can you give us a breakdown of how many were locally employed and how many were fly-in fly-out?

Ms O'Sullivan : Yes, I can. In relation to the allegations—

Mrs Munnings : I just clarify, Chair, that they were from a number of service providers. The evidence may, I think, have been interpreted as meaning that they were from Transfield. The service providers and the discipline taken were from the range of stakeholders that, as Angela highlighted, report through this system. That is just to clarify the—

CHAIR: I am simply asking, Mrs Munnings, how many of the people dismissed were Nauru employed or Australia, New Zealand or some other place employed.

Mrs Munnings : Erin, can you please provide that evidence.

Ms O'Sullivan : I can confirm, in relation to 21 of the 30 allegations, that 15 of those were local employees of Transfield Services or Wilson Security and six of those were expat security services staff.

CHAIR: And what about in relation to dismissals? You mentioned a figure of people who had been dismissed. How many of those were Nauruan versus Australian contracted people?

Ms O'Sullivan : I only have the consolidated information to hand. The specifics of each of those and the breakdown of the six dismissals out of the 30 allegations we can provide to the committee.

CHAIR: Do you know how many who were dismissed were Nauruan versus expatriates?

Ms O'Sullivan : As I stated, there were six dismissals. We can provide the breakdown on those—

CHAIR: Why would you need to provide a breakdown on those, with respect? There were six people. You have the details. What is the problem with answering the question?

Ms O'Sullivan : There is no problem with answering the question; we would just like to give you—

CHAIR: Are you saying that you do not know the answer to the question?

Ms O'Sullivan : We do know. As I said—

CHAIR: Then you should give the information to the committee.

Mrs Munnings : Erin, do you know the detail of the breakdown between local Nauruan staff and expatriate staff in relation to the six staff members who were dismissed from service?

Ms O'Sullivan : I understand that five of them were local staff and one of them was expatriate staff. That is to the best of my knowledge.

CHAIR: Thank you.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: I would like to ask a question in relation to the reported 402 Transfield employees who have been dismissed. That figure, I understand, is from both Manus Island and Nauru, including 31 for misconduct towards asylum seekers. Four hundred and two dismissals is extremely high. How many out of that 402 were in relation to Nauru? Is that the figure we have just had cited or is this a different figure altogether?

Mrs Munnings : Angela will be able to provide evidence in relation to your question. Just to give you some context, that includes a large number of staff terminated due to abandonment of the role—that is, not turning up for duty as requested. Angela can give some more detail.

Ms Williams : I do not have that number to hand but, as Kate said, one of our biggest reasons for termination is staff abandonment of employment, which would be a considerable number for Nauru. Erin, I am not sure if you have that detail to hand.

Mrs Munnings : Erin, do you know, firstly, how many of the number read out by the senator—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: The number that has been given to us is 402 over the last 18 months.

Mrs Munnings : Is that from both centres—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: The information we have had from your answer is that those are from both Manus and Nauru. I want to know how many out of that 402 in the last 18 months are from Nauru.

Mrs Munnings : Erin, are you aware of the number?

Ms O'Sullivan : No, I am not aware of the number.

Mrs Munnings : We can provide that breakdown on notice.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: I would also like to know, of the 179 Transfield workers from Manus and Nauru who have been dismissed in the 2015 calendar year to date, how many were specifically from Nauru. Surely we have those figures, Ms O'Sullivan?

Mrs Munnings : Erin, do you know how many staff dismissed in the calendar year 2015 were from Nauru?

Ms O'Sullivan : I do not have that information to hand, no.

Mrs Munnings : Senator, we will, again, provide that on notice.

CHAIR: I will interject at this point and say that the committee has a reporting date of 31 July. We have two hours with Transfield here today. You have provided confusing answers on notice to questions and now you are avoiding dissecting the figures of 402 and 179 and saying you do not have the information to hand. That really is quite unacceptable. I think with a couple of minutes of emails or phone calls those figures could be provided by the end of Transfield's evidence today.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: That is an hour and a half away. There is plenty of time.

CHAIR: I do not think that that is an unreasonable proposition to put. It would allow us to then move quickly on to matters which you may have an answer for.

Mrs Munnings : We will endeavour to seek that information.

CHAIR: Thank you.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: It has been put to us by former employees that there have been a number of dismissals in relation to people being intoxicated. Do you have the figures to hand as to how many staff have been both (a) disciplined in relation to intoxication and (b) dismissed as a result of intoxication?

Mrs Munnings : We have a strict drug and alcohol policy. We do random drug and alcohol testing. Again, I will ask Erin if she has that information or if she knows how many of the staff were dismissed due to intoxication.

Ms O'Sullivan : We do not have that information to hand; however, we can endeavour to collect it for the committee and provide it.

CHAIR: Again, I just have a clarification. Transfield gave evidence to the committee earlier that it had a drug and alcohol policy that it could not put in place, allegedly because of a union. Are you telling us, Mrs Munnings, that you now have a fully functioning drug and alcohol policy in place?

Mrs Munnings : We have had a drug and alcohol policy in place and we have been doing random drug and alcohol testing since the commencement of the contract. Daron may be able to add some more detail. He was involved from the start of the contract—

CHAIR: So you have a fully functioning drug and alcohol testing procedure and protocol in Nauru?

Mrs Munnings : Correct.

CHAIR: For all staff?

Mrs Munnings : For all staff we have a—

CHAIR: And you have not got any results; is that what you are saying?

Mrs Munnings : I will ask Daron to outline for the committee the drug and alcohol testing regime that we have. I believe we have taken on notice to provide the breakdown of the staff who have been dismissed as a result of alcohol related breaches.

Mr White : I can confirm that, from the very start of the project in 2012, we have had alcohol testing. Drug testing is challenging in Nauru, predominantly because the pathology facilities on Nauru are not substantial enough to be able to test a second sample for us. But certainly alcohol testing is—

CHAIR: Are you doing saliva testing or urine testing?

Mr White : For alcohol?

CHAIR: And for drugs?

Mr White : No, we do not do drug testing. We do pre-deployment and pre-engagement drug and alcohol testing, particularly drugs—

CHAIR: So there is no testing for drugs on the job?

Mr White : No.

CHAIR: Are you testing for alcohol using breathalysers?

Mr White : Correct.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: So there is not really random drug and alcohol testing, then?

Mr White : There is random alcohol testing, yes.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: How random? Is it when you think someone is drunk?

Mr White : No. We have a program in place. Normally on a daily or weekly basis we will test a group of individuals as they come into work or test everyone's—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: So you are literally putting a breathalyser to staff as they are walking into the centre?

Mr White : That is correct.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: And it is so random that perhaps there are days when there are people drunk at work?

Mr White : I think it is also important to understand that—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: It is a bit different to random drug and alcohol testing as we would normally understand it in the workplace.

Mr White : Certainly within Transfield Services that is the way in which random alcohol testing is done. But that is one method through which it is done. Management also have a responsibility. When they identify someone who may appear to be intoxicated then they would ask appropriate questions and, if need be, test that individual.

Senator LUDLAM: What proportion of a given shift would find themselves randomly tested?

Mr White : I would not be able to answer.

Senator LUDLAM: Would it be five per cent or 50 per cent? What would be the order of magnitude?

Mr White : Again, I would—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Is it every day?

Mr White : Yes. My understanding is that, every day, testing would occur. Certainly I have spent considerable time out there—some 10 months in all—during the project, and I know there is considerable testing that goes on.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Where are people tested before they enter the OPC2 or 3, or is there testing for OPC1?

Mr White : It will normally occur in their workplace. Each shift normally starts at RPC1, which is the administrative area. That is where people are normally briefed prior to going to the centres, and so that testing will generally happen in RPC1.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: What you are telling us is that you do not have any figures for how many people are tested on a daily basis.

Mr White : At hand, no I don't.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: How often would it be that somebody is found to be intoxicated?

Mr White : In my experience, I can probably recall five incidents off the top of my head, but it is not regular that we do get a non-positive result.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: I just want to clarify: there is no drug testing?

Mr White : No. There is no drug testing.

Mrs Munnings : Other than the predeployment—so before going to the island. Before going to the centre, staff are drug tested then.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Were you aware—

CHAIR: Sorry. Does that apply to locally employed people, too?

Mrs Munnings : It would not apply to locally employed people, to expatriate staff, before they leave the centre.

CHAIR: So locally employed people are not subject to a drug test?

Mrs Munnings : I will ask Daron to confirm that, but that is my understanding.

Mr White : That is correct. There is no ability to do a pre-employment test for drugs on Nauru.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: What has been Transfield's response to the issue of trading sexual favours for marijuana inside the facility? How have you decided to manage that, given that you have not drug tested people and clearly there is marijuana being traded inside your facility?

Mrs Munnings : As with every allegation or incident or complaint, we have a welfare response, which Angela will outline. We engage the welfare response, notwithstanding whether it will be criminally investigated or prosecuted, because it is an immediate improvement we can make; it is an immediate safeguarding action we can take. Angela will outline the welfare response. We also then have a logistics response in order to minimise the risk, which Daron can take you through.

Ms Williams : In relation to the trading of contraband, Transfield became aware of the allegations in January 2014 and provided all the information to the Nauruan police force, because it is an allegation of a criminal activity, for their investigation. To be clear: there have been five incidents relating to these allegations. What we have done in response to that is a number of things. Obviously, training for all of our staff is continuous, embedding in our processes and procedures that two people work together to ensure that no people are vulnerable to allegations. More specifically, we have been working very closely with the department and also with the government of Nauru to engage in open centre, which commenced early in 2015, which reduces contraband within the centre because people are free to move from the centre into the community. In addition to that, we have also made a number of changes to the canteen list so that people have access to much more amenity and many more products for them to purchase through their IAP points, which they collect from their program activity attendance from the canteen.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: That obviously does not include marijuana.

Ms Williams : No, it does not; but what it does is it includes a number of things for people to be engaged with. Like I said, we have ongoing training with our staff. We have embedded processes and procedures so that we are not vulnerable to those allegations. As I have said, there are five allegations that have been raised with Transfield Services, and each and every one of those has been investigated and referred to the Nauruan police force. We obviously take it incredibly seriously, and we have done a number of things.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: You said that you were first made aware of the trading of contraband for sexual favours in January 2014.

Ms Williams : The allegations relating to contraband trading.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: How were you made aware of those?

Ms Williams : Specifically, the first incident that I am aware of was the disclosure from an asylum seeker in regard to numerous allegations made by workers from the Salvation Army and also security officers at that time.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: That was January 2014.

Ms Williams : Yes.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: When Transfield was made aware of that, was an incident report lodged?

Ms Williams : My understanding is yes; it was lodged.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: And obviously departmental staff on the island in the facility would have been aware of that incident report?

Ms Williams : As I am aware, the department was made aware of the allegations.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: The Australian immigration department knew about the trading of contraband for sexual favours in January 2014?

Ms Williams : Senator, I am led to believe that the incident reports would have followed the normal reporting process, of which a number of stakeholders would have been made aware. The Salvation Army, obviously, for that one, as it related to their staff, but also, being stakeholders at that time, Transfield Services, Wilson Security, potentially, IHMS and the department would have been made aware.

CHAIR: Can I just be very clear then, Ms Williams. Your response was to report it to the Nauruan police and no other action was taken by Transfield?

Ms Williams : As I have outlined, Senator—and I believe it is detailed in our submission—the centre is governed by gazetted rules, which are legislation. These include that any criminal matter—no matter what the matter may be, or the allegation may be—be referred to the Nauruan police force.

CHAIR: That is fine. But you did nothing else but refer it to the Nauruan police? You did not institute any testing? You did not take a saliva or a urine test and flight it back to Australian to have it tested to see who was smoking marijuana on the job? You did not do any of these things?

Ms Williams : Senator, I might pass to my colleague Daron White—

CHAIR: I am asking you, because you made the statement. You took it very seriously—

Ms Williams : We did take it very seriously.

CHAIR: and you referred it to the police.

Mrs Munnings : Chair, if I could clarify: we just asked Angela to outline the welfare response which was undertaken in response. Daron—

CHAIR: You can outline as many welfare responses as you like, Mrs Munnings, but it is a lot of taxpayers' money going in here, and there is a lot of common sense not being observed. You have people smoking marijuana on the job. You have people trading marijuana for sexual favours. You have a corporate responsibility to do something about it. I accept part of that is to notify the police. I want to know what else you did.

Mrs Munnings : Senator, Daron can take that evidence.

Mr White : Chair, from a procedural point of view, contraband is taken very seriously. Prior to anyone going into the centre, there are detailed inductions about what can and cannot go into the centre, including—

CHAIR: With respect, I will give you one more chance. You rang the police. Great! What did you, as Transfield corporate, do about people having marijuana in their possession on your jobsite? Did you drug test or not?

Mr White : We did not drug test—

CHAIR: Thank you.

Mr White : but we did increase the amount of inspection that was occurring prior to entry and exit of the facility. So, as someone enters any of the facility, phones and wallets and those types of things are confiscated, and wanding occurs on each and every person to try and stop contraband from entering the centre.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Mr White, the evidence we have had from Ms Williams is that you were first made aware of this in January 2014. I personally raised these allegations with the minister in October 2014—some eight or nine months later. What did you do between January and October? In October, the allegations that were put to the minister were that it was still going on, so whatever checks that you were having at the gates clearly were not working.

Mr White : Senator, as I have stated before, contraband is something that is challenging in those types of environments. We do absolutely everything we can to—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: But you did not bother to drug test people?

Mr White : We did conduct searches. Where intelligence indicated that there was contraband in the facility, we would do targeted searches and enact search warrants with the Nauruan police force to try and confiscate that contraband.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Do you believe the trading of marijuana and other substances in exchange for sexual favours is still happening inside your facility?

Mr White : I am not aware of it happening. I have heard the allegations, but I am not personally aware that it has happened.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: What does that mean? You have not seen it yourself?

Mr White : I have not seen it. To my knowledge a great deal of effort goes in by the staff to ensure that contraband does not enter the centre.

Mrs Munnings : Senator, I think Angela's evidence supports that. We took steps to engage from a welfare perspective so people felt more able to report any incidents. We tried to encourage any dialogue so people felt they could raise these concerns. I understand they were investigated by the Nauruan police force. I believe Moss looked into the allegations as well. There has, to date, been no substantiation of the allegations. Nevertheless, whenever there is an allegation, we take it extremely seriously. We engage a welfare response and a logistics response in order to improve the safety and security of the centre.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: This was obviously such a serious issue amongst Transfield Services that surely, Mrs Munnings, you must have had a conversation with the department or representatives of the minister's office about this at some stage?

Mrs Munnings : Senator, there are conversations with the department in relation to many things, including the incidents.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Who from senior management—someone in your position or anyone here at the table—spoke to the department about these allegations?

Mrs Munnings : Senator, I might ask Daron to take up that evidence. We work very closely with the department on a day-to-day basis both in Canberra—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: I want to know: who has spoken to the department about this?

Mrs Munnings : Daron, are you able to answer that question?

Mr White : My understanding is that the operations manager in Nauru, along with any major incident or critical incident that would occur—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: I do not want to talk about hypotheticals, though, Mr White. I want to know: who, from Transfield Services, spoke to a representative in the immigration department about these incidents?

Mrs Munnings : The usual process would be: it would be raised at the morning meeting where department officers are present.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: But this is such a serious matter. If you take this very seriously, surely there is somebody amongst your management staff that has the responsibility to speak about this specific incident with the department?

Mrs Munnings : Our usual process is that it would be raised immediately with the department in the management meeting on site. Incident reports are communicated in Canberra as well. Derek may have some further evidence to add to discussions of the governance meetings that are had in relation to the safety and security at the site and how we can improve that in response to any allegation, any complaint. Derek, can you take the evidence from here.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: I do not understand why it is so difficult to name who, from your management, has spoken to the department about this.

Mr Osborn : This is not the entire management team that sits here today. The operations manager on Nauru is a very senior and significant appointment amongst our executive team, so said that is the person who has—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Do you have a file note for a conversation between someone in your senior management team? If it is not any of the five of you in front of us today, did it not get to your level? Was it somebody above you, or somebody below you?

Mr Osborn : Certainly it got to our level. In terms of the discussion with the department, the correct protocol is definitely that there is a management team meeting on island where incidents are discussed. I certainly have discussed the matter at a broader level with the department at our governance meetings in Canberra. We do take the matter very seriously. I think it is important to point out the allegations are not just against Transfield Services staff; they are against other stakeholder staff as well. It may well be the action of other stakeholders, not Transfield Services, that is required to be undertaken. We do take the matter very seriously. We do have these discussions on critical incidents.

CHAIR: Just on that point, Transfield is a very large company. There are many large companies that, like your company, operate in remote localities. Where there are drugs in the workplace, it is a relatively simple exercise to have someone fly in, do a whole heap of saliva tests on a random basis and then go away. It is often done by contractors; it is not done by actual employees of the company. That is probably a greater deterrent. Are you saying that you take this so seriously that no-one ever countenanced some random drug and alcohol testing by saliva?

Mrs Munnings : Just to clarify: the evidence given today is that random alcohol testing is done on a daily basis. In relation to drug testing, Daron has given evidence that drug saliva testing is possible but that it cannot be confirmed by the follow-up urine test.

CHAIR: I am sure it is not confirmed at Olympic Dam, Christmas Creek, Solomon or any of the many large mines around this great country of ours. But, quite often, people fly in, do some testing and then go. They give the company surety and certainty about the efficacy of their workforce. Are you saying that you took it so seriously that you have never countenanced this common sense approach?

Mrs Munnings : The advice we have had is that it cannot be done because of the secondary urine test on that specific site. We, too, do it randomly across the rest of our organisation, which includes remote locations within Australia.

CHAIR: Except Nauru?

Mrs Munnings : The advice that we have been given is that it cannot be done on that specific site. Daron has outlined that we also look at behavioural and other protections and indicators in order to manage that risk. We do daily alcohol testing on a random basis.

CHAIR: What is the advice that you have that drug and alcohol testing on a basis cannot be done in Nauru?

Mrs Munnings : We can provide that detail. As an organisation, we have random drug and alcohol testing. We would implement random saliva testing if it was at all possible. The advice that we have been given is that is not—

CHAIR: Is there any other reason why it is not possible? Is there a political reason? Does the government of Nauru not allow you to do it?

Mrs Munnings : I am not able to answer that question. I am not aware of any other reason. Daron might be able to add to that evidence.

Mr White : No. We have never had any instructions from the Nauruan government in relation to drug and alcohol testing. In fact, they have been very supportive of any actions that we have taken against Nauruan employees in terms of disciplinary action or termination, if required.

CHAIR: Senator Hanson-Young, do you want to have a short spell while we go to Senator Carr before coming back?

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Yes, that would be good.

Senator KIM CARR: Could I take you to the contract arrangements, please. When does your current contract—the $1.2 billion for 20 months work—expire? What is the end point of it?

Mrs Munnings : That expires on 31 October.

Senator KIM CARR: When did the new tender process begin?

Mrs Munnings : As to the specific date, I may ask Angela to identify the specific date. But it was earlier this year, as I recall. Angela or Derek, could you add the—

Mr Osborn : I could not tell you the specific date but I do remember that the submission for the request for tender occurred in a few days immediately after Easter. So in calculating an eight-week tender period from there—and I am trying to remember when Easter was to be honest—

Senator KIM CARR: Thank you. Has there been the award of a new contract?

Mrs Munnings : No.

Senator KIM CARR: No decision has been made yet?

Mrs Munnings : Not to my knowledge. We have not been informed of a decision.

Senator KIM CARR: Are there any human rights requirements in the new tender arrangements?

Mrs Munnings : The contract is under a procurement process at the moment. In terms of the commercial contract, I will ask Angela, given her commercial role, to outline whether she is aware of there being human rights obligations in that contract. Also, Derek may be able to add to that evidence.

Ms Williams : If I recall correctly, the draft contract provided through the tender process had a number of regimes. As specifically calling out the UN, I do not recall that.

Mr White : I cannot recall that either, Senator. The draft contract was a reasonably standard Commonwealth request for tender, as I understand it. My recollection from reading it is that it was fairly comprehensive about the various obligations you would normally expect to find.

Mrs Munnings : It may be worth highlighting that we as an organisation do have a human rights policy, which is part of our overall code of business conduct and the way we operate.

Senator KIM CARR: I will come to that in a moment. I want to deal with the new contract arrangements. In your observation, are there any differences between the draft new contract and the current one?

Ms Williams : The contract that was provided in the tender as a draft is a very different contract to the one which we have at the moment and which I understand you have a redacted copy of.

Senator KIM CARR: Yes. What are the new requirements in the next phase of the contract arrangements?

Ms Williams : I do not have the detail of that contract at hand. From memory, it was a lot more prescriptive than our current contract, particularly in the areas of the scope of works and of the purpose of the contract in the preamble.

Senator KIM CARR: Would you characterise those as paying greater attention to human rights issues?

Mr Osborn : I do not recall that the particular topic of human rights is necessarily spelt out in the scope of works or the various preambles to it. As compared to the current contract where there are a number of parallel arrangements—for example, in the family facility at RPC 3, where Save the Children have the primary responsibility, and we have in RPC 2, where the single adult males are—the new contract effectively puts one contractor in charge of all of those facilities.

Senator KIM CARR: When do you expect an announcement to be made on the new contract arrangements?

Mrs Munnings : I do not think there is a date by which we expect it. There is generally a three-month assessment process that is undertaken, but I am not aware—

Mr Osborn : At the moment, from what I understand of the procurement process, it remains on track. I do not recall a specific announcement date being published as part of the RFT.

Senator KIM CARR: But it is normally about three months after the evaluation process starts?

Mr Osborn : Not necessarily. Publication of an announcement comes at the end of the process, which potentially includes negotiation and a range of other matters. It is not necessarily the case that an announcement of the contract comes at the end of the process. Someone might be appointed as preferred contractor, for example, but that would not necessarily be announced more widely.

Senator KIM CARR: You mentioned that you have a human rights policy. Can you explain to us what that is?

Mrs Munnings : It is a policy that addresses the obligation of our staff and our company as a whole in relation to meeting the various human rights conventions that we are committed to. It is a statement of principle; it supports our code of business conduct, which is our overarching governance policy, which in turn is underpinned by the values of the company. We would be able to provide the committee with a copy of the policy.

Senator KIM CARR: Thank you—if you would not mind. I take it that this policy has been in place for a while, has it?

Mrs Munnings : It has been in place, I think, for a four-week period. It is one of our new—

Senator KIM CARR: So it is a new policy, is it?

Mrs Munnings : It is a new policy that we have implemented to supplement our current policy position in the code of business conduct, which includes a number of human rights elements—such as discrimination and how we deal with gender, diversity, equal opportunity and the various human rights elements of the code. It gathers together those and other obligations into a statement of principle that specifically addresses our commitment to human rights.

Senator KIM CARR: I just could not see any reference to human rights in your submission. You have the whistleblower policy here; you have a number of other arrangements. Have I misread the document? Is there a section there on human rights?

Mrs Munnings : I think that it is weaved throughout the document, but we can commit to identifying the specific human rights elements of our policies across the board and provide a copy to the committee of our newly implemented human rights policy.

Senator KIM CARR: I am pleased to hear that you have it. You have been operating your centre there for some time. If human rights are such a significant part of the approach that you take, how do you account for the breaches that have been identified in the Moss review?

Mrs Munnings : We take any allegation extremely seriously. We find any harm to any other human being completely unacceptable. In relation to the allegations that were reported to Moss during his time at the centre, in some instances they had been investigated and reported previously under our incident reporting processes, which Angela can again take the committee to. I think that the Moss report highlighted that, on every occasion, we as a company have acted decisively and appropriately in relation to any allegation that has been made. I think that that has been identified in the Moss report. It certainly was the feedback that we received.

CHAIR: At this point, could I clarify with the witnesses whether anybody has any objection to their photograph being taken? No objections?

Mrs Munnings : No objection.

CHAIR: No objections at the table? Thank you.

Senator KIM CARR: You mentioned, for instance, this whistleblower notification period which was on the computers. How long has that been on the computers?

Mrs Munnings : Since it was implemented? The date on which it was implemented was during my previous role of chief risk and legal officer and company secretary. I am trying to recall the date, but it has been at least three or four years since it was put in place. I can get the specific date for you if that is—

Senator KIM CARR: No, that is fine. It has been there for three or four years. I am just wondering to what extent your concern for human rights is honoured in the contract implementation. Given the extent of the reports of very serious incidents during the period in which you have been responsible for the administration of the centre, how do you reconcile the actual operations on Nauru with the claim that you are concerned about harm being done to other human beings?

Mrs Munnings : If I can clarify your question, you are asking how we reconcile the allegations that have been made against the policy position that we have and our stated commitment to human rights?

Senator KIM CARR: Yes.

Mrs Munnings : It is clearly unacceptable that there is any allegation, but I believe that how we respond to the allegation is indicative of our commitment to human rights. The team that we have are extremely dedicated, committed individuals who, as I have outlined in the opening statement, hold paramount the care and wellbeing of asylum seekers. We have extensive employment processes that ensure that the people we put on the site—and that we employ across our entire organisation—are people that align with our values. Where we find someone who has gotten through who does not align with our values—whether by their behaviour or their attitude—we act decisively. Moss highlighted that. We—as an organisation, as individual employees and me as the leader—are very committed to human rights.

Senator KIM CARR: I am pleased that you are, but you have said that you have developed a new policy on human rights which is a month old?

Mrs Munnings : I can get you the precise date.

Senator KIM CARR: But a month would be—

Mrs Munnings : It has been under development, but our policy does not necessarily determine—

Senator KIM CARR: No.

Mrs Munnings : Our organisation has been honouring human rights prior to the implementation of a policy document.

Senator KIM CARR: Is the month significant in terms of the fact that the department has now issued new tender arrangements which give greater emphasis to human rights? Was that a coincidence in the development of the policy?

Mrs Munnings : I can absolutely say that it is not. That was not a factor. As an organisation we have been looking at this issue. Our policies are renewed and updated and, as new issues come to hand, we are always looking to improve our policy position. But, as I said, a policy position is just a statement; it does not precondition how we act. Our values, which include integrity as a key value, underpin the behaviour that is accepted.

Senator KIM CARR: Was the development of the policy in any way associated with the revelations that have now become public with regard to the sexual and other physical assaults of people under your care?

Mrs Munnings : The policy has been developed completely independently of this contract and of the work that we do. It is something that we want to do as an organisation. As I said, our values have always underpinned what we do, and the policy is now intended to reinforce it.

Senator KIM CARR: Was the policy developed in response to the matters that have been raised through this committee?

Mrs Munnings : Certainly not. I repeat my previous evidence that we have really always been committed to—

Senator KIM CARR: What human rights due diligence did Transfield conduct before undertaking the contract in Nauru?

Mrs Munnings : I will ask my colleague Angela, who may be familiar with the due diligence that was done. Or perhaps Erin will be able to answer that question. Erin, in relation to the contract, are you aware of the due diligence that was done in relation to human rights?

Ms O'Sullivan : I am not aware of what was done other than the application of the code of business conduct.

Mrs Munnings : Senator, we have a code of business conduct that requires us to undertake due diligence in relation to our business partners, which includes our customers, to ensure that they are appropriate and do not act in a way that is inconsistent with our values. That includes integrity. So we would have done due diligence into the department in that sense.

Senator KIM CARR: Given that you did do this due diligence test, what risks were identified?

Mrs Munnings : Again, I have not got that. I am not aware personally of the risks. I will pass to Derek, who will be able to take the evidence from here.

Mr Osborn : Through that process we did, effectively, what we call counter-party type risk assessment. Clearly we do a lot of work with the Commonwealth government, so we would consider the Commonwealth government to be a low-risk customer.

Senator KIM CARR: The Commonwealth government is low risk? That is a revelation in itself. But what I am particularly concerned about is, with regard to undertaking this contract, what due diligence you as a company undertook—as you have told me you have done—with regard to the human rights risks of operating a centre on Nauru.

Mr Osborn : I am trying to recall the detail exactly but through our process of preparing to do the work we would have done a quite formal risk assessment which would have taken into account a whole range of those particular matters—people working remotely, people being away from their families, the complexity of the centre. As we have discussed, we have a large Nauruan workforce. We are working with Nauruan stakeholders and Nauruan companies. We are working across a couple of different time zones, if you take into account the work we do in Papua New Guinea as well. So there are a range of matters that we took into account. As to those specific matters around dealing and working closely with the asylum seekers, my recollection is that the risk was very much around how we ensure that we can continue to drive improve improvement and, as the asylum seekers move through the process of having their claims for refugee status assessed, how we amend, change and develop the facility so that it takes into account the changing numbers and, as people spend more time or less time in the facility, what risks might be associated with that.

Senator KIM CARR: Did this risk assessment you undertook produce a document?

Mr Osborn : Prior to committing to a contract we do produce a document internally that takes into account risk assessment of a particular contract.

Senator KIM CARR: Is it available for the committee to look at?

Mr Osborn : Could I take that one on notice, Senator—only because of the commercial-in-confidence nature of that particular document. It goes to our process so, if you do not mind, I will take that one and come back to you on it.

Senator KIM CARR: Thank you. And I would be particularly interested to know what you put in place to mitigate or eliminate those risks.

Mr Osborn : Sure. The document, again, goes to mitigation factors and is put together prior to commencing the contract—it is a document that tries to take into account a wide range of scenarios and possible situations.

Senator KIM CARR: The organisation, Save the Children, did a risk assessment on the question of transferring babies to Nauru. Did you undertake a similar piece of work—a risk assessment?

Mrs Munnings : Senator, our process is that if there is a transfer of a child to the centre, our role would be to do a risk assessment in relation to the logistics; for example, procuring baby products to support the baby, and the logistics of the—

Senator KIM CARR: Sure. But I asked a specific question: did you undertake a risk assessment?

Mrs Munnings : Senator, I was just giving the context: we would undertake a risk assessment in relation to the logistics of bringing a baby to the centre—meeting the baby at the airport, having a baby seat in the car—that would—

Senator KIM CARR: So you did a risk assessment.

Mrs Munnings : Our process would be that that is the kind of risk assessment we would do in relation to the transfer of a minor.

Senator KIM CARR: Can we have a look at that?

Mrs Munnings : Certainly.

Senator KIM CARR: Thank you. In relation to answers to questions on notice which you supplied regarding the tents, who determined the specifications for the tents?

Mrs Munnings : Derek will be able to give evidence in relation to the marquees.

Mr Osborn : We responded to a request from the Commonwealth that included a specification for the accommodation and the development of the family camp and also the single adult male camp. I cannot say who prepared the specification, but—

Senator KIM CARR: No; but you responded to a Commonwealth government specification. Is that correct?

Mr Osborn : That is correct.

Senator KIM CARR: Thank you. And was there a brief given to the contractor regarding these tents?

Mr Osborn : Regarding the marquees that are in use: I do not recall a specific brief but there was a request put together, so we would have responded to the detail that was in that particular request. Senator, I might just get you to clarify: what do you mean by a brief?

Senator KIM CARR: Well, was there a brief associated with the specifications? What was the purpose for the dwellings, for instance? Were you required to produce a dwelling of a certain standard?

Mr Osborn : There would have been standards in the specification. There would have been a range of matters that took into account the preliminaries—there is the scope, the timing, the location: those sorts of things; the site plan, site planning, health and safety, et cetera.

Senator KIM CARR: Yes. You did not ask the manufacturer if they were suitable for dwellings though, did you?

Mr Osborn : I do not recall that specifically, Senator. I would be happy to do some work around that if you require. We worked hard with the Commonwealth and with the construction contractor to meet the requirements of the specification and, in particular, to meet the very tight time lines because of the need for the additional accommodation.

Senator KIM CARR: In your answer to the question of notice, you tell us that there was a specific requirement for babies 'up to the age of four months' to be housed, and 'a special facility was created'. I am told that these children were actually kept there up to the age of six months. Is that right?

Mr Osborn : I do not know whether Daron might have any particular detail on that matter. As to the exact timing of the age of children, there could be number of factors that influence that. It could be to do with the family generally, and the ages of other children; there could be a range of matters that might influence that particular decision-making.

Senator KIM CARR: What was the size of that particular tent?

Mr Osborn : The standard marquee is 10 metres by 12 metres, so 120 square metres.

Senator KIM CARR: Thank you. In reply to a further question on notice, you indicated that there were specifications on cots and change tables and the like. Were there any specifications for children over the age of four months?

Mr Osborn : Again, I think they were more generally around the particular facility play equipment and those sorts of things—bathroom specifications et cetera—but within the individual marquees there are lighting, fans et cetera. The only other additional specification—I am just checking my notes—for those from four months to four years meant that those marquees would also have been air-conditioned and insulated.

Senator KIM CARR: Save the Children recommend babies not be transferred, but Transfield gave a lower risk assessment. I am wondering: how did you reach that conclusion?

Mr Osborn : I am not fully aware of that particular risk assessment and the comparisons that have been made, so I cannot say definitively whether the same risks were in fact being assessed.

Senator KIM CARR: Could you have a look at that notice then, please?

Mr Osborn : Yes.

Senator KIM CARR: You mentioned that you purchased 20 of 140 tents from Toll Holdings. How do these 20 differ from those that were purchased from Balens?

Mr Osborn : I am not entirely sure. Again, I am happy to go back and do some research on that particular matter. We have a range of specific marquees for different functions, like mess functions and administration functions and those sorts of things, so it might have been that we got those specific marquees—

Senator KIM CARR: They were specific, yes; they were specialist.

Mr Osborn : One example that I am aware of is that of the kitchens that were in place at that time. The kitchens were provided, I think, through that mechanism.

Senator KIM CARR: Perhaps you could tell us: are they currently in use?

Mr Osborn : A number of marquees have now been deconstructed and stored because the number of people within the facility is declining. There are a number of areas that we have taken down and packed away. As to the specific marquees that are in use, there is quite a range as I am sure you can understand.

Senator KIM CARR: And I take it you would have had a number of quotes for the supply of the 120 tents?

Mr Osborn : The process that we went through was a response to the Commonwealth. They submitted an RFT. We worked in consultation and, in fact, we were not the lead contractor for the supply.

Senator KIM CARR: Refresh my memory: who was the lead contractor?

Mr Osborn : Canstruct were the lead contractor. We worked with Canstruct. Clearly, with a maintenance work force on the island, of which we are very proud, they work in a variety of roles across the island and they worked with Canstruct. Sorry, I will get you to repeat the question.

Senator KIM CARR: I wanted to know how many quotes you had for them.

Mr Osborn : I do not have that detail to hand. One of the key performance requirements was timing. There was an assessment of value for money, which is a commercial process that we go through internally and which we went through with our client at the time, but the critical issue was the ability to meet the time frames specified by the Commonwealth.

Senator KIM CARR: So the pressure was on for getting the place built and getting people into it.

Mr Osborn : Having the capability and the capacity was a key requirement, and making sure we had that capacity available.

Senator KIM CARR: In another answer to a question on notice you point out:

Between September 2012 to 30 April 2015 there have been 15 reported incidents of Failure—Electricity/Water/Sewerage.

Are you able to give us a breakdown of those particular incidents, whether it was electricity, water or sewerage?

Mrs Munnings : Senator, as you know it is a tropical environment. We have invested a lot in generation and in other utilities. Daron has the detail in relation to the utilities, and he will take the evidence from here.

Mr White : I do not have the breakdown of the 15 incidents. What I can say is that from the very early days when we first got to Nauru it was very rudimentary—in fact, we took over from Defence—so water production and electricity generation were very rudimentary. Subsequently, these have substantially improved. So the majority of incidents of things like power failure certainly happened in the early days, and that was typically related to maintenance types of activities where we needed to shut down one generator to get another one going.

Senator KIM CARR: Could you give me a breakdown of the dates on which these failures occurred and the duration for which there was no electricity or no water or limited access to water or sewerage.

Mr White : Certainly.

Senator KIM CARR: What was the longest period people were without power?

Mr White : My recollection is that planned maintenance at times might have taken an hour to conduct maintenance on the generator. That is the longest incident that I can recall.

Senator KIM CARR: What is the longest period people have been without water?

Mr White : Water has been quite challenging. The initial facility that we were operating only produced 450,000 litres per day and the asylum seekers were using about 300 litres per person a day. In effect—

Senator KIM CARR: Can you go through that again for me. The total 450—

Mr Osborn : 450,000.

Mr White : 450,000 litres per day was production.

Senator KIM CARR: And individuals?

Mr White : Individuals were using between 250 and 300 litres per day, per person.

Senator KIM CARR: How many people were there?

Mr White : At the peak, we were around 1,200 asylum seekers but we also had probably around 1,500 stakeholders and staff.

Senator KIM CARR: Yes, because there are other people there as well. So, was there a shortage of water?

Mr White : At times we did have to apply water restrictions.

Senator KIM CARR: So there was rationing?

Mr White : At times, yes, particularly in the early period of the project.

CHAIR: Senator Carr, can I just ask at this point: did the two-minute showers apply to the entire workforce or just to the asylum seekers?

Mr White : It applied to everyone. In fact, at times the staff were not allowed to shower to ensure that there was sufficient water. Our primary aim was to ensure that there was sufficient water at all times for the asylum seekers.

CHAIR: So water supply was critical.

Mr White : Certainly within the first 18 months, yes.

Senator KIM CARR: And sewerage?

Mr White : I am not aware of any time when sewerage was compromised. Post the 2013 riot where the centre was destroyed, we established another centre at RPC2 and we put in a facility that we could pump out. But I am not aware of any time when sewerage per se has been a problem.

Mrs Munnings : Perhaps if I could clarify. We collect data in relation to utilities, so it is three utilities but that does not necessarily mean that the 15 strikes were equally shared or even occurred across those three utilities.

Senator KIM CARR: That is why I have asked for a breakdown of each of them. The committee has had some advice that there has been failure at some facilities for up to six hours. You are saying that that is just not true?

Mr White : I am certainly not aware of anything that has failed for six hours.

Senator KIM CARR: There is a difference between 'not aware' and it happening. Your incident report will tell us that, won't it?

Mr White : Senator, if I can just clarify one thing: you might have had, for instance, a reverse osmosis unit that did breakdown for six hours, but it depends on how much storage you have as to whether you need to enact water restrictions. So, in the main, yes, we may have had some challenges maintaining a reverse osmosis unit, but it did not always impact or it did not always mean that we had to put restrictions on the centre in terms of showering and those types of things.

Senator KIM CARR: We will just have to contrast the evidence that has been brought to us. If I could just return to some of the questions that have been raised by other committee members. You say that there were 18 complaints against staff of a nature that required referral to the Nauruan police and that 11 were subject to open investigation. Do any of the 11 staff members that have been the subject of those referrals continue to work in the centre?

Mrs Munnings : Angela will be able to provide details in relation to this evidence. But our process is that we undertake—if the allegation is to do with a Transfield Services staff member or indeed a Wilson Security staff member there is a process of investigation from an employee-employer perspective that is undertaken. It is undertaken quickly and action is taken immediately if those allegations are substantiated. Angela, can you take the evidence from there?

Ms Williams : Senator, can you clarify which numbers you were referring to?

Senator KIM CARR: It was your answer to a question on notice—18 complaints against staff. Is that correct? Have you provided us with an answer to that effect?

Ms Williams : We have provided a number of answers to questions on notice.

Mrs Munnings : We have provided extensive detail and we have broken it down into various categories in order to assist the committee. Can you give us—

Senator KIM CARR: A question number? I will have to get the secretary to assist me with that. But my question is: of the 11 staff members who have been referred to police and you have indicated are subject to open investigations, are any of those personnel working in the centre itself?

Ms Williams : For those particular people I do not have that information to hand. My colleague Erin may have that, and I will move to her in a minute. But what I can tell you is that when an incident occurs there are basically two streams of work that get initiated. The first is obviously the security response. The second is the welfare response. As we discussed earlier, the stakeholders relevant to that incident would be notified and they would make an assessment as to whether there was a requirement for the asylum seeker to move into special care or have high needs—have a mental health check, have their case manager go and see them. Similarly if it was an allegation against another asylum seeker we would do the same welfare response for an alleged perpetrator. When it relates to staff we would take immediate action. We can speak obviously only on behalf of Transfield Services and its subcontractors but we would take immediate action. That would include a range of measures depending on the severity of the allegation. One of them might be to move that person out of the immediate area. Another, more extreme, would be to terminate. Erin, do you have the detail in relation to the Senator's question around termination of those individuals?

Ms O'Sullivan : As said in our answers to questions on notice, 11 of those have been referred to the NPF and are currently under investigation, and seven of those have been finalised. Consistent with the termination data that we provided before, there have been dismissals and terminations as a result of inappropriate conduct. As to the specifics of those 11 charges, we would need to consult and obtain an update on those to provide that information to the committee.

Senator KIM CARR: So it is possible that there are members still working in the centre?

Ms Williams : To be clear, what I mentioned was that the person who the allegation involved would generally not be working, if it was the case, around the area where that allegation had occurred. But it could be—

Senator KIM CARR: So the answer is that they have been moved to another area of the centre?

Ms Williams : It could potentially be that they are reassigned or stood down pending investigation, which is the most likely outcome.

Senator KIM CARR: I turn to the question of mould. This is a matter of some interest here. I understand that there was no issue of mould in the Army-issued canvas tents. Is that correct?

Mrs Munnings : As you are aware, it is a tropical environment—

Senator KIM CARR: I understand that but I am asking a very specific question. You started with the Army-issued equipment. Was there an issue of mould in that equipment?

Mrs Munnings : I believe that our answers to questions on notice clarified that there was not in relation to the Army-issued tents.

Senator KIM CARR: I just wanted to confirm that. I am interested to know whether that was because it was made of canvas materials.

Mrs Munnings : Correct.

Senator KIM CARR: Who made the decision to purchase the vinyl tenting material?

Mrs Munnings : Derek will be able to provide the details in relation to that question. I understand that we were working with the department at the time.

Mr Osborn : That is correct. At the time there was some concern about the vulnerability of the Army-style tents, so working with Canstruct and the department—I cannot recall exactly who made that particular decision. We certainly offered, as part of our response to the Commonwealth specification, that particular product.

Senator KIM CARR: You offered it?

Mr Osborn : That is correct.

Senator KIM CARR: You offered it? Transfield offered the—

Mr Osborn : Sorry; to be very clear: Canstruct submitted the offer to the department. We were a subcontractor to Canstruct, so it was done jointly. We were working together.

Senator KIM CARR: There is quite an important issue about the quality of the materials. The issue of mould has arisen since the introduction of these vinyl structures. I want to know who made the decision to use vinyl rather than even the facilities that were there—and we will come to the question about hard-walling in a minute. But who made the decision to actually purchase these particular products over and above those that the military had been using?

Mr Osborn : Again, to give some background: at that particular time—if you think about the urgency of that which we were working on—we were responding to a large capacity being added to the facility. The risk of fire was, as I said, a considerable consideration. Availability was a considerable consideration. So we worked very hard to meet a whole range of measures with regard to the specification and, on a value-for-money basis, the product that we selected was put forward as part of our response to the—

Senator KIM CARR: So it is cheap.

Mr Osborn : Actually, in this case, value for money was primarily around meeting the particular requirements of the specification, which included a tight time frame.

Senator KIM CARR: So you had to do it quickly.

Mr Osborn : We did, Senator, to meet the requirements—the ability to meet the specification and the time frames which were established—we chose a particular product to do that.

Senator KIM CARR: Okay, so it was cheap and quick.

Mr Osborn : My view of that particular decision-making process was around the health and safety of the process; the ability to erect them safely, to ensure that they were not flammable, and to ensure that they were able to meet a range of particular needs of the specification. There was a significant amount of work put in—

Senator KIM CARR: Every single one of these 'marquees', as you call them, is now affected by mould.

Mr Osborn : Senator, again—and to the point made earlier—mould is a particular issue in tropical environments.

Senator KIM CARR: But it was not an issue with the Army equipment.

Mr Osborn : I agree. The Army equipment had other shortcomings—significant shortcomings.

Senator KIM CARR: Such as?

Mr Osborn : They were particularly hot. They were quite small. There were not able to be ventilated as well, and there was some concern about their flammability.

Senator KIM CARR: Sure. So the best thing would have been to hard-wall the facility, would it not?

Mr Osborn : Again, the hard-wall facilities themselves have some mould issues. They were constructed under a different contract, not related to the work that Transfield Services does. But, right across the island, whether you are staying at the Menen Hotel or whether it is the accommodation areas at RPC1, in a range of particular types of structures—and this is consistent with my experience across 12 years with Transfield Services working in the north—this is a particular issue that affects a large number of structures.

CHAIR: Can I just ask at this point: given that we are told in answers to questions on notice that the average stay in a marquee with mould is 402 days, was there any risk assessment undertaken by Transfield? I will go on to say that a marquee, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is 'a large tent used for social or commercial functions'. Can you tell me whether you did an assessment of a 402-day average stay in a mouldy tent?

Mr Osborn : I think the important thing to consider there is that, as we first became aware of the mould, we started treating the mould straight away. I do not think it is—

CHAIR: Mr Osborn, you have told us that you have 10 years of experience in the north, and that mould is a problem.

Mr Osborn : Yes.

CHAIR: The average stay in a mouldy tent is 402 days. Did you do an assessment of the health risks?

Mr Osborn : We have done an assessment, and it would be a risk if the mould was left untreated. The mould is not being left untreated. Since the moment that we found evidence of the mould, our environmental services team—which is made up of a number of Nauruan and expat staff—has gone to considerable effort to start to rectify and to eliminate the mould. It has been quite a considerable process that we have gone through. In the first instance, we used a low toxicity, very domestic-style approach to ensure that—

CHAIR: I can understand that you are taking prudent steps to deal with the mould. Was there any assessment about housing people in a vinyl tent that is susceptible to mould for 402 days?

Mr Osborn : We responded to a specification issued by the Commonwealth for the provision of those particular structures—the marquees.

CHAIR: So it is the Commonwealth's job to do the assessment of whether there is a health risk here. Is that what you were saying?

Mr Osborn : We do a lot of work in consultation with the department. As I have said, we have been dealing with this particular issue from the moment that we first identified it.

Senator KIM CARR: How many of the tents are mould free?

Mr Osborn : I am just trying to check my numbers now. So far, we have completed work on 91 marquees to date.

Senator KIM CARR: How many are mould free?

Mr Osborn : Ninety-one.

Senator KIM CARR: They are completely mould free?

Mr Osborn : That is right. The process that we go through is a two-stage one. It goes to the planning that we have put in place. In the first instance, we remove the panels of the particular marquees. We work in close consultation with the asylum seekers so that we do not disrupt any of their day-to-day activities. We give them plenty of notice.

Senator KIM CARR: The thing is that your program is completely successful and the mould will not return.

Mr Osborn : When we first started the treatment, the treatment was very much around using a bleach product. It became apparent after a few months that the mould was starting to return. We felt that we needed to do something a bit more than that. We then went to a more significant process, which had a two-stage treatment of the panels. That then prevents the mould from returning. Over a long period of time—

Senator KIM CARR: Sorry, I want to be clear about this. You are saying that the mould will not return?

Mr Osborn : No, what I am saying is that in a period of time, probably 12 months plus, there is the potential for the mould to return. We have got an ongoing monitoring program. We have appointed an environmental manager who has got specific responsibilities for this area. He has got 10 years of experience in terms of his work in this particular area. He has got a Bachelor of Environmental Science, he has got a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and he specialised for six years in working in sites with contamination.

Senator KIM CARR: I need to move on. Has there been an incident of an unexploded Second World War ordnance found under the school tent?

Mrs Munnings : Daron will be able to take up that evidence, given his presence on site, to the extent that there is—

Senator KIM CARR: Is it true or not? Was there an unexploded bomb under the school tent?

Mr White : I understand there was a UXO that had already been defused. It was essentially a shell.

Senator KIM CARR: So it is just an empty shell?

Mr White : An empty shell without fuses or explosives, as I understand it.

Senator KIM CARR: In terms of the suggestions the committee has received in regard to rats and other vermin in the kitchens and the mess areas, have there been reports of rat infestations?

Mrs Munnings : It is a tropical environment, so there are pests in the natural environment. We have four environmentalists who work with us on our strategies to ensure that pests are not a presence in the site. Daron will take the evidence and provide the detail in relation to the work that the environmentalists do, but it is quite effective in minimising the natural pests that occur in a tropical environment.

Mr White : The key issue around pests and vermin is obviously the welfare of the asylum seekers. We have a comprehensive program of baiting. Essentially, I have never seen a rodent in any of the centres. Where the baiting is checked on a weekly basis and where additional baiting or additional baits have been taken, we increase the amount of baits that are out. We have some 360 bait stations in and around the centre.

Senator KIM CARR: Has the cleaning staff gone on strike?

Mr White : No, never.

Senator KIM CARR: There has been no industrial action by the cleaners.

Mr White : We had a process of negotiation with our local workforce, which the Nauruan government coordinated on behalf of our local staff. I am not aware of any time when they went out for any industrial reason.

Senator KIM CARR: In your submission you have references to whistleblower and other measures. Is it your assessment that staff of Transfield are subject to the Australian Border Force Act of 2015?

Mrs Munnings : Our briefing from the department and our own advice and assessment is that our staff would be subject to the border force act.

Senator KIM CARR: You say here that personnel are protected by the whistleblower protections—this is on page 69 of our paperwork. You indicate: 'Where a whistleblower reports that inappropriate conduct is determined to be maliciously false, the whistleblower will be subject to disciplinary action.' How many occasions have you had malicious whistleblower action?

Mrs Munnings : The whistleblower hotline is anonymously manned, as I have outlined. It is administered—

Senator KIM CARR: But it has not been used?

Mrs Munnings : Sorry.

Senator KIM CARR: It is the one that has not been used until recently?

Mrs Munnings : It is used across the organisation and so it is available to our global operations.

Senator KIM CARR: How often has it been used?

Mrs Munnings : As I said, it has been around for three or four years, I would say.

Senator KIM CARR: This is the same one that you have given evidence about before?

Mrs Munnings : Correct, and I can give—

Senator KIM CARR: So there have been two incidents for which it has been used. Is that correct?

Mrs Munnings : In relation to the company at large, there have been many, many reports through the whistleblower hotline.

Senator KIM CARR: I am interested in its use for Nauru.

Mrs Munnings : In evidence we gave earlier, it is twice that it has been used.

Senator KIM CARR: Thank you. Do you think that might reflect a lack of confidence in the whistleblower procedures?

Mrs Munnings : We believe that we give people ample opportunity to understand how it would operate—the independence through which it would operate. I see it as a reflection of the quality and capability of our management that people do not feel that they need to resort to an anonymous reporting mechanism, that issues of concern can be reported by our staff to their managers and that they can be addressed quickly and appropriately. If you look at best practice—

Senator KIM CARR: So we have discovered that it has been used twice recently. What other examples of whistleblower action from your staff can you point to on Nauru?

Mrs Munnings : Senator, I do not understand the question.

Senator KIM CARR: Have there been any other incidents where staff have acted in a whistleblower capacity and sought the protections of the policy you have outlined here?

Mrs Munnings : I will refer this to Daron to take up the evidence in relation to management reports. Management meetings would be the alternative method for reporting concerns—

Senator KIM CARR: Have you had any examples of that happening?

Mrs Munnings : Daron, can you give any examples?

Mr White : No. From a management perspective we deal with issues as they are raised. We put in place mitigations to fix the issues or the challenges people have within the business.

Mrs Munnings : Derek may be able to add to that evidence.

Mr Osborn : One of the key activities that I undertake when I go to the islands is a process we call 'Leader led conversations'. I meet with small groups of frontline workers—they are with their team but without their supervisors present—to give people the opportunity and the forum to raise any matters they see fit. It could be work health and safety, the way the operation is running. I make a point of meeting individual teams across the island—and that is not something that just I do; other executives do it as well. It gives a forum for people to—

Senator KIM CARR: How many times has that forum been used for complaints which might fall under your whistleblower disclosure protections as outlined in the policy statement you have provided to us?

Mr Osborn : In my experience, none. But the nature of the issues that come to light are generally around work health and safety—

Senator KIM CARR: I have the idea.

Mrs Munnings : Senator, I can perhaps elaborate. I undertake a similar sort of exercise to Derek when I go to the island. I subsequently received one email where a staff member raised a concern.

Senator KIM CARR: So that is one.

Mrs Munnings : Correct.

Senator KIM CARR: Plus the two. Are they the same as the two that you referred to? Is that three?

Mrs Munnings : That is correct.

Senator KIM CARR: So three occasions since—how long have you been in operation?

Mrs Munnings : Since September 2012.

CHAIR: Just on this point: this is an extremely important issue for the committee. We are faced with evidence from a large number of people that there is untoward activity. To be perfectly clear: Transfield has a whistleblower policy, but it is basically Transfield investigating Transfield? So they have to come to their reporting line, their supervisor, the management line, their director line, the general manager line? Even in the whistleblower policy, they are still reporting up that line?

Mrs Munnings : Chair, there are a couple of mechanisms. As I said, there is the whistleblower hotline, which is anonymous.

CHAIR: Does anybody get the opportunity to whistleblow outside Transfield? That is my point.

Mrs Munnings : The whistleblower hotline is an avenue outside of Transfield.

CHAIR: Who manages it?

Mrs Munnings : It is Control Risks—a third party.

CHAIR: Contracted by Transfield?

Mrs Munnings : That is the usual practice: to have an independent third party who acts, based on certain protocols—

CHAIR: And we had three complaints through that process?

Senator KIM CARR: No; two.


Mrs Munnings : Plus one directly to myself.

CHAIR: Since you have been in place?

Mrs Munnings : Correct. That is usually a reflection of good management practice.

CHAIR: We need to make an assessment of the evidence—and the evidence is quite clear. Two through the whistleblower, independently contracted out of Transfield, and the weight of evidence that we have in our submissions here. So we need to draw a balance there somewhere.

Senator KIM CARR: Save the Children is the delegated guardian of unaccompanied minors appointed by the Nauruan minister for justice. You say that on page 10 of your submission. It is quite clear that Save the Children have an obligation to report incidents of abuse. Do you believe that Transfield has obligations to report incidents of abuse either to the Nauruan government and/or the Australian government?

Mrs Munnings : Senator, Angela will take the evidence and read the obligations specifically so that the committee is very clear, but there is mandatory reporting in relation to all staff on the centre.

Senator KIM CARR: Thank you. It is mandatory reporting back to the Australian minister?

Mrs Munnings : Angela can give that detail.

Ms Williams : The hierarchy of law which applies: there are gazetted rules under Nauruan legislation, which outline the requirements for reporting, and that is complemented by the Nauruan criminal code. So anything of a criminal nature needs to be reported to the Nauruan police force. That is embedded in our incident reporting guideline, which is a guideline that is governed by the department. It applies for both Nauru and Manus Island. It has reporting protocols. I understand that the department may have other reporting protocols internally.

Senator KIM CARR: I am interested to know that you believe that it is a mandatory requirement to report incidents of, as I understand it, any offences of violent behaviour, domestic violence, child abuse, assault, harassment, bullying by any persons associated with the centre. Is that right?

Mrs Munnings : Criminal behaviour must be reported. In relation to the child safeguarding protocol, all staff have a mandatory reporting obligation in relation to the welfare of children.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Mandatory reporting to whom?

Senator KIM CARR: That is the question I am trying to get to. Is it to the Australian government minister, or to the Nauruan government, or to both?

Ms Williams : In relation to the protocol on site, it is to Save the Children, and then they manage that process. They have the role and responsibility to refer to the Nauruan police force. As to their obligations and their contractual arrangements with the department around their referral to any other minister in relation to them either being the guardian of the unaccompanied minors or for any other incidents relating to minors, that is a question for Save the Children or perhaps for the department.

Senator KIM CARR: When were those rules implemented? On page 12 of your submission, you refer to these matters.

Ms Williams : The child safeguarding protocol, I understand, was implemented on 5 December 2013. That was a guideline that was developed, I understand, with Save the Children and the department. It was issued to us. We afforded ourselves of the training that Save the Children provided us for our staff and we have ongoing training in relation to this protocol.

Senator KIM CARR: Let me get this clear. Are you saying to this committee that your mandatory reporting requirements are in fact to report to Save the Children, not to the minister?

Ms Williams : That incident reporting guideline has a number of different responses. If it relates to minors then it is reported to Save the Children.

Senator KIM CARR: Not to the minister?

Ms Williams : We do not make any direct—as I understand, maybe Daron can complement my evidence—incident reports directly to the minister. It is through the incident reporting guideline.

Senator KIM CARR: What about to the department? Do you make direct reports to the department? Do copies of your incident reports go to the department?

Mr White : That is correct. If an incident was reported to Save the Children and it was reported by one of our employees then an incident would also be raised by us in the reporting procedure and that incident would definitely go to the department.

Senator KIM CARR: So the Australian government is officially notified?

Mr White : That is my understanding.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Can I just clarify something. You were asked specifically about an incident at the last session in relation to a case of child abuse in November 2013. Would you have, as a matter of course, notified the immigration department of that particular incident?

Mr White : That is correct.

Senator KIM CARR: Let me go back another way. Are there any incidents that have not been notified to the department as a result of your notifications to Save the Children? Has on every single occasion a copy of that report gone to the department?

Mr White : Where we have been aware of that, yes. And Moss clearly states that in his report.

Senator KIM CARR: So every single incident?

Mr White : That we are aware of.

Senator KIM CARR: You cannot report something that you are not aware of.

Mr White : Yes.

Senator KIM CARR: But every time you have reported an incident, it has gone directly to the department by way of administrative procedure?

Mrs Munnings : We have a performance management framework which sets out specific times by which we are required to report incidents to the department. Obviously the critical incidents are the most urgent.

Senator KIM CARR: Moss goes directly to sexual and other physical assaults and the trading of sexual favours for access to facilities.

Mrs Munnings : He outlines those allegations.

Senator KIM CARR: And he details a number of these incidents that are reported by date about women who wanted longer showers being told they would have longer showers if—'show me your body and I will give you more time' is the report here. Are those incidents all reported on each and every occasion to the Australian government?

Mrs Munnings : Those allegations that Mr Moss—

Senator KIM CARR: It is an allegation until it is proven. But Mr Moss goes through each of these occasions, and dates them. Can you assure the committee that every single one of those was reported to the Australian government on or about the time in which you became aware of them?

Mrs Munnings : To the extent the allegation is made known to us, it will be recorded through the various avenues. I mentioned earlier in my evidence there are 11 avenues through which incidents can be reported. If an allegation is reported through one of those avenues, it will go into an incident report.

Senator KIM CARR: So the allegations of rape and threats of rape were all reported?

Ms Williams : As we have described, the incident reporting protocol is the guideline that dictates what behaviour is required when an incident occurs. Obviously there are a number of stakeholders that work within the centre and they all have the role and responsibility to report an incident if they observe it or if they have it told to them.

Senator KIM CARR: Do you believe that the Australian border force legislation, the 2015 act, places any restrictions or limitations on your reporting requirements?

Mrs Munnings : All of our contracts operate under confidentiality obligations but that does not exempt people. I understand the Border Force Act does not prevent people from reporting any issues of concern, allegations or anything of the nature that we have discussed here this morning. Derek attended the briefing with the department and can confirm that that is the advice that we have received.

Mr Osborn : That is right. We received a briefing from the department on the act and the application of the act. The advice the department provided to us, which is consistent with the advice that we received externally, is that nothing about the Australian Border Force Act changes the way in which we operate. We do not need the change to our processes and policies. People remain obligated to report issues as they arise and as they see them.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Internally?

Mr Osborn : There is a range of reporting mechanisms available. They are required to report them. That is correct.

Mrs Munnings : And if they are reported internally, we can take immediate action both from the welfare and the logistics to minimise the risk and improve the safety and security straight away.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Except that we know that it has not, because in 2013 a child was abused and nothing was done to remove that child from the centre. That is the evidence that we have. The current system clearly does not work.

Mrs Munnings : In relation to that specific matter, perhaps Angela and Erin and can elaborate if that is the question.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: I am just putting it out there that the evidence we have been given is that a child was left in a facility after being subjected to child abuse. In November 2013, you were aware, Transfield Services were aware and we have now been told that you made the department aware that child remained in that dangerous place.

Mrs Munnings : The welfare of children is incredibly important to us.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Well clearly not for this child. Why was the child left in the detention facility with the people who abused it?

Mrs Munnings : In relation to that specific incident, Angela may be able to add to the evidence and then that can be supported by Erin if there is a question. If you are asking whether the child actually stayed within the facility—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: We know the child stayed in the facility.

Mrs Munnings : The perpetrator was removed, potentially, so we may be able to provide some assurances in that regard.

Ms Williams : I am not across the detail as to where the alleged perpetrator is now, whether or not they are in the centre or whether or not they have received a refugee status determination. What I can tell you is that Transfield Services would have worked—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: This child was not abused by another asylum seeker; this child was abused by a member of staff.

Ms Williams : In the incident that you were referring to, the alleged perpetrator was terminated by Transfield Services and the matter was referred to the police. I believe Moss also went over that incident. We have verified with him that we took swift and decisive action in relation to that alleged perpetrator and that matter is now with the Nauruan police force.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Except that that child remained in that detention facility where that child was abused at the hands of people who were paid by the Australian taxpayer to look after that child. How on earth can you justify that you have a reporting mechanism that is appropriate when that type of incident goes on, is kept secret and the minister refuses to accept that he was made aware?

CHAIR: If you could answer what part of the question you understand and are able to answer.

Ms Williams : The responsibility for the allocation of accommodation is through the lead welfare provider on the site. At the site where the children and family reside, that is Save the Children. If that incident had occurred in RPC 2 and it was one of the gentlemen that we provide welfare services to, we would have made a number of recommendations as to their accommodation and where they were accommodated within that site. In relation to RPC 3, the family site, that would be a question best put to Save the Children, who would make that recommendation and assessment as to the welfare requirements of that particular child.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Can I put to you that Save the Children have made it very clear that they have no role in determining whether a person is detained in the facility or not? That is a decision of the immigration department, is it not?

Ms Williams : We also have no role in the determination—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: So I do not think blaming Save the Children for the fact that this child remained in the Nauru detention centre is appropriate. I also want to point out that the evidence given was that this child was further abused and humiliated by other workers at the centre for retribution because the worker who had first abused this child was dismissed. This child continued to be psychologically and emotionally abused and harmed because of the facility that the child remained in and the avenues of discipline that were taken. It staggers me that you want to sit here today and try and justify the way that matter was handled as a matter of course and that it is all okay. It is simply not.

CHAIR: I think Transfield have answered what they did. They took action and dismissed the person.

Senator KIM CARR: Can you advise the committee on how many female security staff are employed on Nauru?

Mrs Munnings : We do have that data. Angela will take up the evidence.

Ms Williams : I can confirm that in the total facility, for security staff, we have 218 female security staff employed—that is, a mix of local—

Senator KIM CARR: How many local and how many expat?

Ms Williams : In relation to the total number split—

Mrs Munnings : I can assist. There are 148 local Nauruan staff and 70 fly-in fly-out expatriate staff.

Senator KIM CARR: My final question goes to the issue of duty of care. Why is it that Transfield cannot guarantee the security of detainees in the Nauru facility?

Mrs Munnings : We have provided a great deal of evidence as to the steps we take to ensure the safety and security—

Senator KIM CARR: I understand the steps you take. But you cannot clearly guarantee the security of people that are detained within that centre. Why not?

Mrs Munnings : We take extensive steps to protect people. The care and welfare of asylum seekers—

Senator KIM CARR: But they are not good enough, are they? Your steps are not good enough.

Mrs Munnings : We do a lot of work and continue to collaborate with the other stakeholders on site to improve the safety—

Senator KIM CARR: Can you guarantee the security of detainees in that centre?

Mrs Munnings : As I said, we work with all the stakeholders present on site, all of whom are committed to the care and welfare of asylum seekers.

Senator KIM CARR: But you cannot, can you?

Mrs Munnings : We continue to work with all the stakeholders who are present on site in the best interests of the asylum seekers.

Senator JOHNSTON: Are you contractually obliged to guarantee the security of all the people in the centre on Nauru?

Mrs Munnings : We have quite extensive contractual obligations. Derek will be able to add to this evidence. My understanding is we are to perform our services at a certain standard and we have consistently done that throughout the period of our time there.

Mr White : To be clear, no.

Senator JOHNSTON: It was a very clear question: Are you contractually obliged to guarantee the security of all the people ostensibly in your care on Nauru?

Mrs Munnings : That is not our contractual obligation.

Senator LUDLAM: My questions will go specifically to an incident. My colleague Senator Hanson-Young attended Nauru in December 2013 and was subjected to a degree of surveillance by Wilson. I will put some questions directly to them when they give evidence. My questions are to you in your role as the organisation with the lead for security and services on the island. Can you confirm for me: firstly, do any Transfield staff sit in on security meetings or are directly involved in security matters on the island, or is it entirely delegated?

Mrs Munnings : Transfield is involved in security meetings of a certain nature. They include a regular meeting on each morning that occurs with multiple stakeholders present. Perhaps, if it would help, Daron could give some further detail in relation to our interaction with the security services on a day-to-day basis.

Senator LUDLAM: I might take some general questions, if you like, on scope, and then we will go to the specifics of this incidence.

Mrs Munnings : Daron, could you take up—

Mr White : Sure. Yes, there are a range of meetings that are held with stakeholders and also with the Nauruan operations managers who, with the Nauruan government, are responsible for the running of the centre.

Senator LUDLAM: But in terms of physical security for the centre, who has the lead?

Mr White : Wilson Security. Those services are part of our scope of work, and we subcontract them to Wilson Security.

Senator LUDLAM: But Transfield staff, specifically, are on site—

Mr White : Yes.

Senator LUDLAM: they are involved; they are aware? Okay. Thank you. At what level of seniority? What is the level of the most senior officer stationed on the island who would have some kind of visibility of security arrangements?

Mr White : The most senior position on the island is what we call the operations manager. There are also regular visits by the executive. On average every fortnight there is, probably, at least one senior executive on site as well.

Senator LUDLAM: The operations manager is a Transfield employee?

Mr White : That is correct.

Senator LUDLAM: Can we go to the protocol. What happens when you are made aware of an impending visit by a high-profile individual? What protocols kick into place? Obviously, in this instance it is Senator Hanson-Young, but it could be anybody. It could be a journalist or a human rights advocate—take your pick.

Mr White : We have some pretty standard operating procedures, if you like, where we look at what the VIP may want to do. We put in arrangements to make sure that visits in and around the centre are managed appropriately. Often, when VIPs come to visit, the asylum seekers want to have some interaction.

Senator LUDLAM: What responsibility do you take for the conduct or for the welfare of the individuals when they are off site—when they are not at the centre that you are responsible for?

Mr White : When off the site, ordinarily, unless we were requested to do so, we would not have any responsibility. That would sit with the Nauruan police force.

Senator LUDLAM: Do you mean requested by the individual in question or requested by some other third-party?

Mr White : I think that if someone, for whatever reason, felt unsafe, then they would be working with the department to make arrangements for their security off the site.

Senator LUDLAM: With the incidence of Senator Hanson-Young's visit between 15-18 December 2013, when was Transfield first made aware that she was travelling to the island?

Mr White : I would not be able to tell you the exact date. There was also another visit at the time, with members of parliament, Julie Bishop and other senators—

Senator LUDLAM: Were those other visitors also surveilled by Wilson Security when they were off site?

Mr White : As I said, that is not part of our scope of work—

Senator LUDLAM: No. I am not sure why you brought it up. There is evidence that Senator Hanson-Young was surveilled while she was off site. That was nothing at all to do with the visit to the centre. I am wanting to know—just to go back in time, if I can, briefly—when was Transfield first made aware that she was travelling to the island?

Mr White : Again, I would not be able to give you an exact date. But, typically, it is a week or two prior to someone's visit that we would get something from the department to say that we have a visitor and that we need to prepare an itinerary and prepare arrangements for that visit.

Senator LUDLAM: Submitter No. 2 to this inquiry alleges a number of quite serious allegations—some of them which have been rebutted by Wilson Security and some of which have not. And a bit more detail has been provided. Submitter No. 2, who is anonymous, says:

Wilson Security organised a team from ERT—

That is the emergency response team—

to spy on her while she was on Nauru. This included following her around the island while she was outside of the OPCs and setting up an observation post to watch her room at the Menen hotel.

When were you first made aware of the allegations that those out-of-scope activities had occurred?

Mrs Munnings : I can take up the evidence at that point. I understand—and the evidence is—that at 7.40 am on 16 December 2013 Wilson reported the matter to Transfield, having been made aware of it by the individuals involved contemporaneously to that time.

Senator LUDLAM: Okay, 7.40 am coincides with the file note, which I am presuming that you have a copy of—by Ben Gilbert relating to the CSO, Jason Kahika. So, on your evidence, if it was around 7.40 on Monday, the 16th, Transfield was notified immediately the security manager was made aware of it. Does that sound consistent?

Mrs Munnings : Our evidence is that after Wilson were made aware of it they informed Transfield, correct.

Senator LUDLAM: Can you confirm for us that nobody from Transfield had any prior knowledge of those allegations—that you discovered those after, consistent with the file note?

Mrs Munnings : I can confirm that. It was not something that we sought. Our discussions with our subcontractor have determined that the individuals involved did have the safety and security of the senator in mind, and—

Senator LUDLAM: I do not want to go to the justification yet, so please spare me that. I want to know what happened and when, and so far we are doing quite well. So I am happy to just stick to the facts of what occurred. Did any Transfield staff attend a security team briefing prior to the arrival of Senator Hanson-Young to the island?

Mrs Munnings : I do not have details in relation to the attendance at a briefing prior to the arrival.

Senator LUDLAM: Were you not expecting this issue to come up this morning?

Mrs Munnings : Of course, and we have done extensive performance management in relation to this issue, because it was outside of the scope of Wilson's services.

Senator LUDLAM: So you are not aware of whether there were any Transfield staff in attendance at briefings at which Senator Hanson-Young's visit was discussed prior to her arrival?

Mrs Munnings : I can confirm that there were no Transfield Services personnel at a briefing which discussed the incident at hand.

Senator LUDLAM: I am talking about prior to the arrival. You have said that the operations manager on the island is a Transfield employee. You have also said—or Mr White has indicated—that there are standard protocols that kick in when a VIP or a high-profile individual is scheduled to arrive. Did your ops manager just sit those meetings out?

Mrs Munnings : It would be usual for the operations manager to be in certain security meetings, but there was no Transfield Services employee present when an ERT supervisor gave an instruction to watch the car of Senator Hanson-Young.

Senator LUDLAM: That is really not the question that I am asking you, though.

Mrs Munnings : I am just providing the evidence that I am able to on the point.

Senator LUDLAM: Were any Transfield employees present at meetings prior to Senator Hanson-Young's arrival at which her itinerary or visit was discussed? That is the question that I am putting to you.

Mrs Munnings : We can confirm that on notice. It is the usual protocol that there would be Transfield staff at security meetings, but there was not a Transfield Services staff member present when the watching of the car of Senator Hanson-Young was instructed by the ERT supervisor.

Senator LUDLAM: Yes, that is also a question that I have not asked you. So you will confirm that for us. I would expect that, on notice, the answer would be: yes, either the operations manager or, if not, some other employee—you do not have to identify who, but just at what level they are employed by Transfield—was present at one or more meetings prior to the arrival. It would seem to me to be reasonably consistent with the practice, as you have described it, that somebody would have been in attendance at such a meeting.

Mrs Munnings : We can confirm who and when.

Senator LUDLAM: Okay. When did you first receive the file note? I am presuming that you are aware of the one that I am referring to; it was provided to us by Wilson on Friday, the 17th.

Mrs Munnings : I will ask my colleagues whether they know when specifically that file note came to us. I do not have an exact time as to when that file note was provided to Transfield. I assume that it is the date and time on the file note.

Senator LUDLAM: It is 16 December 2013 at 17:45.

Mrs Munnings : In order to be of most assistance I might ask Erin if she is able to provide any evidence on that point. Just to clarify your question for—

Senator LUDLAM: We are seeing the file note for the first time as of this Friday—in terms of the committee being provided with it on 17 July. When was Transfield first made aware of that?

Mrs Munnings : Erin, do you understand the question? Are you aware of when Transfield was first provided with the file note that the committee is referring to?

Ms O'Sullivan : I understand the question. We will need to take that question on notice to provide an answer to the committee with certainty.

Senator LUDLAM: Is it reasonable to assume that you have had it since December 2013 at some stage? The subject is 'Failure to follow directions and giving unlawful instructions'—a reasonably severe and serious incident. Would that have been provided to you reasonably shortly after the incident itself?

Mrs Munnings : We will provide confirmation of whether or not it was.

Senator LUDLAM: Are you confirming for us this morning that you do not believe that a member of the Australian Senate is a legitimate target for off-site surveillance?

Mrs Munnings : That is our evidence. Senators are allowed to move freely, as are other VIPs who attend the island. When they are outside the centre, they move freely around the community.

Senator LUDLAM: Is there anyone you would consider to be a legitimate target of off-site surveillance—for example, a high-profile journalist or somebody from Amnesty International who might be quite critical of your operations? That is the sort of services that Wilson provides.

Mrs Munnings : That is not within the scope of services that we have subcontracted to Wilson Security.

Senator LUDLAM: So unless the individual in question requests that kind of assistance for their own security there would be no circumstances under which they would be placed under that sort of surveillance?

Mrs Munnings : That is definitely our expectation of Wilson. Their scope does not include surveillance of any individual outside the centre and certainly not of the nature you are describing.

Senator LUDLAM: What's with the bird names—Project Swan, Project Cygnet and Project Duckling? Is that just part of the corporate culture?

Mrs Munnings : It is usual corporate practice to have codenames. They mean very little other than to protect the privacy of the project that is being discussed.

Senator LUDLAM: I am curious that Senator Hanson-Young was designated as 'Raven'. Is it part of the Transfield corporate culture as well to designate people or individual targets with codenames?

Mrs Munnings : That is not part of Transfield's culture. We have codenames for projects that have high levels of confidentiality. That is common across most organisations.

Senator LUDLAM: Yes, but there was a designated codename for an individual who was placed under surveillance.

Mrs Munnings : In relation to that, it was the decision of an individual who acted outside of his authority and disciplinary action was taken. Again, it was extremely regrettable and, on behalf of Transfield, I apologise that this occurred.

Senator LUDLAM: That is the first apology that has been tendered.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Why has it taken this long? If you knew, why wasn't I told while I was on the island that this had occurred? Why hadn't anybody bothered to tell me?

Mrs Munnings : The actions of the individuals were in the interests of your safety. We have received that assurance from Wilson as we undertook the performance management of our subcontractor. Disciplinary action—

Senator LUDLAM: We might get to the justification when we come to Wilson. There is a striking inconsistency given between submitter No. 62 and the evidence tendered by Wilson that makes it apparent that the surveillance activities went well beyond observing someone's car in a car park. There is also evidence that people outside the three individuals who are referenced both in the file note and in other material knew well before that what was to occur. I am trying to identify—and you are well aware that it is a very grave issue to give false or misleading evidence to a select committee—that categorically nobody from Transfield knew in advance that the senator was to be placed under any form of off-site surveillance.

Mrs Munnings : That is my evidence.

Senator KIM CARR: If Transfield does not regard itself as being contractually obliged to guarantee the security of detainees, who in your opinion is?

Mrs Munnings : I do not quite understand your question.

Senator KIM CARR: Who is responsible to guarantee the security of detainees on Nauru?

Mrs Munnings : As I said in my evidence, all the stakeholders work together—

Senator KIM CARR: I know that everything is going really swimmingly out there! There is $1.2 billion for 20 months work and you are saying that that contract does not oblige you to guarantee the security of detainees. Who is responsible?

Mrs Munnings : I do not believe that was the evidence I gave. But what I can confirm is that the government—

Senator KIM CARR: Are you contractually obliged to guarantee the security of detainees?

Mrs Munnings : As I said in the evidence I gave to Senator Johnston, we are not contractually obliged to guarantee the welfare of the asylum seekers—

Senator KIM CARR: I said 'security'.

Mrs Munnings : We are not contractually obliged to guarantee the security of the asylum seekers but we work together with other stakeholders to ensure that it is a secure environment. The centre is under the operation of the government of Nauru, so they have the overarching legal obligations that exist in that country to guarantee the safety of the citizens and the people in the centre.

CHAIR: So it is the government of Nauru in your opinion?

Mrs Munnings : That is my understanding of the arrangements.

Senator KIM CARR: Thank you.

CHAIR: We did ask a couple of questions on notice of Ms O'Sullivan. Have you had any luck with disaggregating those figures?

Mrs Munnings : Erin, did you understand the question from the Chair? Were you able to disaggregate the figures in relation to the termination of the employees? Chair, was that between local staff and non-local staff?

CHAIR: There were two questions from Senator Hanson-Young. One was in the vicinity of 400 and the other was 187 or thereabouts. We wanted a break-up of—

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: 179. That was for the calendar year 2015. The other one was for the last 18 months.

Mrs Munnings : Erin, were you able to get that information in that time frame?

Ms O'Sullivan : I can confirm that the information that I am able to provide is for the period from the commencement of services in Nauru to date. There is a total of 289 occurrences. These are referred to as 'terminations' as part of our standard HR documentation. However, the figures include transfer, retrenchment, resignation, end of contract and also abandonment of employment. Of those total figures, I can confirm there is a total of 289, of which 83 referred to expat employees of Transfield Services and 206 referred to local employees of Transfield Services.

CHAIR: That is out of the 400?

Ms O'Sullivan : That is the 289 for that period.

CHAIR: That was Manus and Nauru. So you are saying the 289 was Nauru?

Ms O'Sullivan : Correct. The 289 all related to Nauru.

CHAIR: And the 179?

Ms O'Sullivan : In the time provided, I have been unable to clarify exactly the 179. In order to provide full disclosure for today, we have provided and worked off the data from the start of our services to date. If the committee requires more specific information, we are in a position to provide that on notice as required down to specific parameters.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Ms O'Sullivan, I would like the figures for this calendar year please.

Ms O'Sullivan : We can provide those.

Senator LUDLAM: A short time ago, when it was disclosed that Senator Hanson-Young was placed under surveillance on the island, Minister Dutton, at a press conference, quite specifically denied that it was the case; in fact, he said Senator Hanson-Young had fabricated the incident. Did you notify him that he had misled the press and, thereby, misled the public? Did Transfield seek to help the minister to correct the record?

Mrs Munnings : That would usually have been the case, but I cannot confirm that today.

Mr Osborn : I do not know. We did discuss the matter with the department, but I certainly have made no contact with the minister's office. We could take that particular matter and—

Senator LUDLAM: I would like to know exactly what steps Transfield took. Presumably you saw the minister inadvertently mislead the press corps—let's be generous—and, by extension, mislead everybody. What steps did you take to provide him with more accurate information?

Mr Osborn : I am happy to take that on notice.

Mrs Munnings : Chair, would you like a copy of the—

CHAIR: Yes, if you would like to table your opening statement, that would be very welcome. I thank representatives of Transfield Services. We would appreciate an answer to any questions taken on notice by Friday, 24 July.

Proceedings suspended 11 : 30 to 11:40