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Where is report on prison costs blow-out?

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

6 December 2006

Where is report on prison costs blow-out?

The Government is trying to bury a second report into the prison construction blow-out in the Christmas rush, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

"Back in September, the Minister of Finance said in answers to parliamentary questions that Treasury's review into the scope of the prison construction project would be completed 'in the next six to eight weeks'.

"The fact that this second report has yet to be made public, after the damaging findings of the State Services Commission's report in August, suggests another snow-job."

The State Services Commission review into the escalating costs of building Spring Hill and Otago prisons found that:

* Without a proper analysis, Corrections adopted an untested contracting method that exposed taxpayers to significant risk because it did not nail down a fixed price from the beginning.
* Indicative costs were not known until 20 months after construction began at Spring Hill, and 17 months after work began at Otago.
* External contractors had too much influence over major decisions.
* Ministers were not kept fully informed about increasing costs.

"In a year that the CEO described as an 'annus horribilis' for Corrections, there is no way they will want to go into the holidays with another reminder of just how bad 2006 has been."

ENDS

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