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More disturbing revelations at Corrections

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

23 April 2006

More disturbing revelations at Corrections

Revelations that over the past four years the Corrections Department spent $31 million on consultants, at least one whom was a staff member it had just laid off, make it even more imperative there is a select committee inquiry, says National’s Law & Order spokesman Simon Power.

He is commenting on a report on papers released under the Official Information Act which show that in the past year alone, spending on consultants increased from $5.7 million to $10.6 million.

The report also says the department laid off one staff member then rehired him as a consultant, though it was unable to say how much he had been paid.

“This is ludicrous,” says Mr Power. “There is some good money being spent on weird stuff. Some of this spending on consultancy is not explained well at all.

“They have spent $21,000 on something called ‘recall process training’, $119,000 on ‘professional ethics workshops’, $13,000 on a ‘Maori therapeutic programmes pilot’, $27,000 for an ‘audit of food’, $35,000 to a Canadian University for evaluations findings, and $25,700 for muster management tools.

“And there is a disturbing pattern emerging over the hiring of former staff as consultants.

“First we have the situation of a former prisons assistant general manager being hired as a consultant on $1,000 a day just two days after he resigned and without the job being put out to tender, and now we have someone else being rehired after the department laid him off.

“This department is in crisis, and is it any wonder when it displays completely inept management such as this.

“These revelations will give the public no reassurance at all that this department and its Minister know what they are doing.”

ENDS

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