RELEASE: Taxpayers: Manus Island Tender Process Must Be Transparent
The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA), a 75,000+ member national grassroots advocacy group representing the nation’s taxpayers, today demanded a transparent tender process for Manus Island security contracts to deliver the best value for taxpayers, instead of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s current plan to extend the 22-month $432 million refugee facility security contract currently in place with controversial contractor, Paladin Solutions. The current deal with Paladin Solutions is currently under Attorney General investigation after it was awarded without a tender process in 2017.
“When governments line the pockets of contractors, they do so at taxpayers’ expense- not their own.” Said Satya Marar, ATA Director of Policy. “A transparent public tender process is the only way to ensure that hardworking taxpayers across the country are getting the best bang for our buck.
“If contracts pertinent to our national security, defense, or immigration, are going to controversial firms which raise public concerns, then this makes a transparent and public tender process, that holds the government fully accountable, essential.
“Paladin had its ‘Australian office’ registered to a beach shack on Christmas Island. Its workers also walked off-site over a pay dispute this year, and its chief executive is banned from entering the very country where it provides services to our government.
“Since the Manus detention centre is unlikely to close any time soon with 300 asylum seekers rejected by the United States, it’s all the more important that we canvass whether there are better options available than the current contractor.”