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Abbott Government advertising for new contractors at Nauru & Manus detention centres

April 5, 2015 - 00:15 -- Admin

In early 2014 the Abbott Government extended the Transfield Services* contract to cover both Nauru and Manus Island centres and this contract was reportedly worth $1.2 billion.In February 2014 an asylum seeker was murdered in the Manus detention centre.In May 2014 the Cornall report into the incident leading to his death and serious injury to other asylum seekers was handed to the government.By November 2014 the Abbott Government was in possession of the Australian Human Rights Commission report on the treatment of children in these centres.In September 2014 it was reported that inadequate medical attention on Manus Island resulted in the eventual brain death of an asylum seeker in a Brisbane hospital.In December 2014 it was announced that International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) had received a contract renewal, to provide medical services on Nauru and Manus Island worth around $900 million over five years.By January 2015 the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection had begun advertising these contracts on AusTender:The Department of Immigration and Border Protection invites interested parties to submit Tenders in accordance with this Request for Tender for the provision of services in Regional Processing Countries. Services will be required to be delivered within the Regional Processing Centres on Nauru and Manus, Papua New Guinea, as well as limited services within the local communities of Nauru and Manus to support settlement activities for Refugees.  Potential suppliers will be able to bid for one or both service categories listed below.The Request for Tender seeks responses in relation to two service categories. Service Category 1. Health Services, which includes:(a) Health screening and assessment processes;(b) Health promotion and education programmes;(c) Management of mental health and public health risks;(d) Medical escort services;(e) Supply and management of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals;(f) Environmental health services;(g) Health advice services;(h) Outreach health services; and(i) Telehealth.Service Category 2. Garrison and Welfare Services, which include:(a) Programmes and Activities;(b) Management of property of Transferees;(c) Communication management;(d) Management and maintenance of assets;(e) Cleaning;(f) Security and Incident Management;(g) Catering;(h) Environmental management;(i) Logistics;(j) Personnel accommodation;(k) Transport and Escort;(l) Complaints Management;(m) Individual management of Transferees;(n) Complaints and request management;(o) Specialist care for vulnerable cohorts (infants, families with children, minors);(p) Independent observer services; (q) Communication Management; and(r) Business Services.Further details of the Services are set out in the RFT documentation.The current contracts for garrison, welfare and health services on Nauru and Manus expire on 31 October 2015.  New arrangements must be in place and fully transitioned by this date.The euphemistically named regional processing centres are requiring new contractors it seems.In March 2015 the Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment was released and quickly followed by the Moss report on sexual abuse and sexual assault allegations at the Nauru detention centre.So which company or companies are walking away from any further engagement in the Abbott Government's overseas detention centres?  Is it IHMS (or possibly a subcontractor) and Transfield's subcontractor Wilson Security? Has corporate greed finally been overridden by a need to protect their brands?Or are the aforementioned contract details merely being advertised due to competitive tender requirements and the usual suspects will still be in place after October this year. * Transfield Services is in the process of rebranding the company as Transfield Holdings has served notice on the company to cease using the trademarked Transfield name and logo.Industry super fund HESTA appears to be in the process of divesting itself of shares in Transfield Services in response to pressure from a section of its membership.