Springborg must sack Bleijie

Published Thursday, 09 April, 2015 at 01:55 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Yvette D’Ath has called on the Leader of the Opposition, Lawrence Springborg to dump the former Attorney General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie following the Auditor General’s scathing report into the awarding of the contracts for the LNP’s boot camps.

She said political interference at the ministerial level cost Queensland taxpayers an extra $7.4 million.

“As the Auditor General said, the way these contracts were awarded is open to accusations of favouritism.

The former Attorney General ignored expert panels, awarded multimillion dollar contracts for boot camps and then resisted investigations by the Auditor General.

“Lawrence Springborg needs to sack his Opposition Police spokesman. He needs to show leadership, make some tough decisions, show the courage and integrity the LNP failed to deliver in Government and during the campaign,” Ms D’Ath said.

“He needs to answer whether or not he stands by this decision endorsed by the Cabinet to award these contracts; and whether he will sack his shadow Police Spokesman in the wake of this report.

“This former Attorney General ignored his own expert panel’s recommendations. He put politics over policy and integrity,” she said

Some applicants were treated very differently to others and money was spent on infrastructure that will be of no benefit Queenslanders. In the Fraser Coast contract, the tenth ranked applicant won the contract.

Contract variations meant that the Billabong contract jumped in value from $2.2 million to $2.9 million per annum no matter how many young people were dealt with.

The total cost for the boot camps over two years will be $12.3 million compared with the initial budget of $4.9 million, a budget overrun of $7.4 million.

“The litany of failures goes on,” she said.

The Auditor General found the timing of the audit and the report has been seriously affected by delays experienced in in obtaining access to information held by the department, and by the delays in obtaining responses from the then Minister and former Director-General.

The Auditor-General also discovered that variations made to the ongoing contract were kept from the auditor-General and only discovered after further investigations.

Further, the auditor-General discovered that departmental officers had been instructed not to cooperate with the Auditor-General’s investigation.

The Auditor-General found that “the substantive issue raised in the report is the lack of evidence to document [Jarod Blijie’s] decision-making processes” in relation to intervening in the tender process, rejecting the recommendations of the independent panel and awarding the contract to a hand-picked provider.

The Auditor-General made it clear in his response to Bleijie: “As you have not addressed this matter in your response, I take this as your confirmation that no such evidence exists”.

“Lawrence Springborg must show some courage act and sack Jarrod Bleijie from his frontbench.


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