The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has defended paying $3.5 million to Toll Holdings for a tent kitchen at its Manus Island detention centre.
A spokesman for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the department ’’closely adheres’’ to Commonwealth procurement guidelines that ’’specify the need to obtain value for money for all expenditure of public funds’’.
The department rented the tent kitchen from Toll when the centre re-opened in October 2012, then bought it outright a year later.
’’The lease of the kitchen included mobilisation, installation, the kitchen structure, kitchen equipment, power generation, refrigeration, water storage and airconditioning,’’ the spokesman said. ’’The purchase of the kitchen was deemed better value for money than the costs associated with demobilisation when the lease concluded.’’
The department also defended increases in the amounts paid to contractors G4S and Transfield Services to run offshore detention centres. Transfield, which wrested the Manus contract from G4S last week, will be paid $1.22 billion to run the Manus and Nauru centres for 20 months. This equates to about $900 a day for each detainee.
’’The value of the contract with Transfield reflects the cost based on current transferee numbers at Nauru and Manus OPCs [offshore processing centres] over the contract period,’’ the spokesman said.
’’Following the change in policy in July 2013, and the expansion of necessary infrastructure, the two OPCs have been gradually increasing transferee numbers to the current levels. The lower costs to date reflect this gradual increase and that transferee numbers have not been constant.’’
He said giving Transfield both contracts would ’’ensure continuity, consistency and integration of service delivery across both OPCs as well as maximising efficiency and value for money’’.
Transfield is to take full control of the Manus Island detention centre on March 28.