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Power has egg on his faceover SSC report

9 August, 2006

SSC report on prison build leaves Simon Power with egg on his face

National Party Law and Order spokesman Simon Power's credibility is on the line following today's release of the independent State Services Commissioner's report of his investigation into the Regional Prisons Development Project, Corrections Minister Damien O'Connor said.

"The report shows there are some lessons to be learned about how to manage projects of this size and complexity. The Government has taken these on board."

"But the report makes it clear that the reason the prisons cost $140.8 million more than anticipated were a buoyant construction market, skills shortages and the remote siting of the prisons. Design changes brought about by higher predicted muster numbers was also a major factor.

"It is not due, as Simon Power has repeatedly alleged, to any gross negligence on the part of the Corrections Department. He should check his facts before accusing departmental staff of 'incompetence and mismanagement of the highest order' – or worse – in future."

The report clearly states that use of a Collaborative Working Arrangement-style (CWA) of contracting was "appropriate for the nature and scale of the project", Mr O'Connor said.

"It is extraordinary that Mr Power, an avowed supporter of increased private business involvement in public sector projects, is attacking the use of CWA. It is a form of public-private partnership that is widely used on large construction projects all over the world.

"It is Mr Power's competence and credibility that are now in question. He will be a very red-faced man today."


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