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Corrections budget blow-out ineptitude

Simon Power National Party Law & Order Spokesman

18 January 2006

Corrections budget blow-out ineptitude

National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power, says the blow-out in the prison construction budget is the latest example of management ineptitude in the Corrections Department.

"We pointed out in early December that there was a huge budget blow-out in the prison construction budget but the Minister, Damien O'Connor, chose to say nothing.

"It is now obvious why he said nothing - he knew he would have to confirm what we were saying.

"He should pack his bags immediately, leave the beach and get back to work to sort out this mess before his department collapses further.

"He even tries to claim his department 'under-estimated' the cost of the new prisons. This is a budget blow-out, pure and simple.

"It is ineptitude of the highest order and they have done it with taxpayers' money.

"The Cabinet must now be in no doubt that Damien O'Connor is out of his depth and his bureaucrats are out of control.

"The Government has brought this upon itself because it did not want the private sector managing the building of these prisons, so there was no contestability.

"The Cabinet and Damien O'Connor must take full responsibility for this disaster," Mr Power says.

"An internal review will only confirm what the public already suspects - that Corrections management is out of its depth."

ENDS


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