VICGOV exec on Unified 'a non-approved firm enforcing government regulation off some emails & phone calls'
At 11.30PM on Friday, 27 March the Victorian Government's Katrina Currie emailed Unified Security's major shareholder David Millward inviting him to outline his company's capacity and ability to act a security provider to the Victorian Government's Covid-19 hotel quarantine scheme.
We've published details of those exchanges here:
On Sunday, 29 March Unified provided a small number of security guards.
On Monday, 30 March, Ms Currie was asked to provide justification for retaining Unified, given the company was not on the approved 'panel' of service providers.
In essence, she replied "We need to use them because we are using them".
Unsurprisingly, that reply didn't cut the mustard with the government's purchasing experts.
With the benefit of hindsight, and the unnecessary and avoidable deaths of 800 people in mind, this email from the purchasing boss is infuriating.
But rather than continue only with the authorised providers, Ms Currie and her superiors pressed ahead with Unified.
Here's Ms Currie's broader justification.
"Unified is an Aboriginal owned and controlled organisation and has worked with Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions on social procurement initiatives. While they are not a panel provider for security services, utilising their services is absolutely in keeping with the concept".
In keeping with the concept. Whatever that means.
A couple of weeks later Wilson Security (an approved provider) wrote this letter, pointing out that while Unified had not undergone the probity and compliance checks that approved providers went through, Unified had been 'awarded all the work'.
Much more to come.