Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has today ducked questions about his inappropriate behaviour during the tender process for the Newman Government’s boot camps, says Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt.

“Mr Bleijie’s diary shows he met with Beyond Billabong on June 5 and discussed boot camps while the tender process was under way,” Mr Pitt said.

“But he refused to explain his inappropriate behaviour when asked a direct question in State Parliament today.

“To meet with anyone who is part of an active tender process is highly inappropriate for any Minister let alone the chief law officer.

[singlepic id=515 w=320 h=240 float=left] “A reputable organisation like Beyond Billabong should not have been drawn into any sort of tendering controversy, but it has thanks to the Attorney-General’s incompetence and lack of concern for proper process.

“Shadow Minister for Corrective Services has already called for a full inquiry into the awarding of the contract for the initial boot camp in Cairns after revelations that Safe Pathways was awarded the contract even though it did not meet a number of key requirements in the tender list of criteria.

Mr Pitt said that at the Estimates hearing in July, the Director-General gave an undertaking that:

“with respect to the probity process, I have ensured that the selection committees are independent of government—that is, of executive government in the sense of ministerial intervention—and that there is probity in place”.

“Today I asked the Attorney-General to guarantee that the successful tenderer for the Fraser Coast boot camp, Hard Yakka, was ranked as the number one applicant by the panel and that he accepted the panel’s recommendation without outside interference.

“He did not give that guarantee.”

Shadow Minister for Corrective Services Bill Byrne said: “As the boot camp experiment got off to such a disastrous start with the closure of the initial Cairns camp within 48 hours, – in the words of the Attorney, it was a failure – communities throughout Queensland are rightly concerned about the expansion of the program and deserve assurances that every care has been taken to appoint contractors on merit,” said Mr Byrne.

“Other tenderers and people in the communities where boot camps will be established deserve better and will draw their own conclusions from the Attorney-General’s refusal to give straight answers to direct questions.”