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Corrections spends $455,000 to keep costs down

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

30 October 2006

Corrections spends $455,000 to keep costs down

A new office established by the Corrections Department to bring efficiency to the prisons construction project is simply another layer of expensive bureaucracy, says National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is releasing answers to questions that show the Project Management Office, which was established in February to increase the ‘quality of review, reporting and decision-making’ on the Regional Prisons Development Project, has cost $455,069 as at 30 June, let alone the cost since then.

“That’s a pretty hefty bill for an office that employed only 10 people, all of them consultants.

“This office was established to supposedly bring tighter controls to a project that was clearly overspending, and here it is spending nearly half a million dollars on 10 people in its first five months.

“Perhaps Minister Damien O’Connor can explain how he can justify spending that amount of taxpayers’ money for an office that did not exist at the beginning of the year, when he is already paying an external consultant $1,764 a day to manage the project that is $490 million over budget.

“This sounds like just more bureaucracy on top of inefficient bureaucracy to me.”

ENDS

Parliamentary question 13457 (2006): Simon Power to Minister of Corrections (27 September): Further to his response to question for writen answer 10264 (2006), what is the cost of salaries and other payments from the time the group was established in February 2006 to the end of the financial year to 30 June 2006?

Minister of Corrections (Damien O'Connor) replied: The project structural review undertaken during 2005 identified the need for the PMO and because of the limited remaining life of the project, contractors were selected to manage this group. From February 2006 to 30 June 2006, 10 people were contracted to carry out a variety of specialist roles and duties. The total cost of salaries and other payments was $455,069.

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