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How Long Until Something Is Done?

Posted on 05 Jun 2009

The arrest of prison officers forming part of a cannabis supply operation with inmates is the latest debacle in a clearly dysfunctional Department of Corrections, ACT New Zealand Law & Order Spokesman David Garrett said today.

"This incident follows hot on the heels of a damning report from the Auditor-General in February outlining Corrections' inadequate management of parolees." Mr Garrett said.

"State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie told the Law and Order Select Committee three months ago, after his so-called inquiry into where the responsibility for the parolee mis-management debacle lay, that Corrections Head Barry Matthews was ultimately accountable for the failures of his department.

"Although questioning him was like drawing teeth, Mr Rennie eventually agreed under questioning that Ms Katrina Casey was responsible for the management of prisoners and parolees. Ms Casey has been in her position prior to the death of Liam Ashley in the back of a prison van in August 2006. In short, every piece of serious mismanagement in recent times has occurred on her watch.

"Despite the State Services Commissioner's admissions, neither Mr Matthews or Ms Casey were sacked following the Auditor-General's report. Now we have another scandal, this time featuring criminality and corruption.

"If Corrections were a private business, both Casey and Matthews would have been fired for poor performance long ago.

"How many more disgraceful examples of mismanagement - and worse - does there have to be before both these hapless individuals are fired? If Mr Matthews is not now terminated, I will be asking the Law and Order Select Committee to call Mr Rennie before the Committee to explain why, and to ask him how many more debacles he will accept before he ends Mr Matthews' career," Mr Garrett said.


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