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Prison Contract Questions

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What's going on in New Zealand, and why doesn't the Government know?.

A question asked in the House today by New Zealand First Whip, Ron Mark, suggests that the "unfortunate errors" of the Government's recent past continue unchecked.

Mr Mark asked the Minister of Corrections, Clem Simich, what knowledge he had regarding the propriety of a contract awarded to Honeywell LTD, a security company, to provide security in New Zealand prisons.

Mr Mark asked what information the Minister had about the role of a Mr Eggleton of Opus International consultants undertaking a fact finding tour of the United States, and how it came to pass that Honeywell were awarded the contracts on the recommendation of Opus, and what significance to the outcome, Mr Eggleton's previous employment with Honeywell had had upon the contracts awarded.

"The near simultaneous relationship that Mr Eggleton had with both companies, one of which has been awarded Taxpayer funds raises serious questions as to whether this deal was above board, and does not involve some form of conflict of interest in the deal," said Mr Peters.

" Mr Simich received this question at 10am this morning, and had four to acquaint himself with the facts.

"The further fact that Mr Simich does not even seem to know who was involved in the deal leads to further questions as to whether the current Cabinet have any control of their own portfolios. This was a major deal involving a substantial sum of taxpayers' money. I would expect the Minister responsible to at least know who was involved," concluded Mr Peters.

Ends


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