Vic Gov tender website changes Unified Security contract value from $30M - to just $1
Monday, 21 December 2020
Here are the details of our previous post
Andrews Government's $30M hotel security contract with "Australia's Largest Indigenous-Owned Security Provider"
Saturday, 26 September 2020
Here is the $10M per month, $30M contract between the Victorian Government and Unified Security Group (Australia) Pty Ltd, sorted out one Friday arvo.
Download 3446-3062-1456-v1 - Agreement for Professional Services - Unified - Redacted
This is the record of the contract on the Victorian Government tenders website.
The key points:
- start Sunday 29 March 2020, end 30 June 2020 - 3 months duration
- value - $30.2M - ie $10M per month flat rate
- for security services at accommodation during COVID-19 isolation
- Unified Security Group was an unregistered or new provider to the Vic Govt.
The parties to the contract are:
Services commenced in the early hours of Sunday, 29 March 2020.
In a mid-morning press conference on Sunday, 29 March, the Minister for Jobs, Precincts and Regions Martin Pakula announced that the government had secured 5,000 hotel rooms supervised by security guards.
While services and payments commenced 29 March, the contract wasn't signed until 9 April 2020.
And what did Unified Security Group (Australia) P/L have to do for its $30M?
Nice work if you can get it - but Unified Security Group (Australia) P/L wasn't just any ordinary security company.
For a start, it wasn't Victorian.
It wasn't registered as a supplier to the Victorian Government.
It had no history as a provider of these services to the Victorian government.
It didn't need to tender for this contract (it was handed out one Friday arvo maaaaate!)
It didn't need to demonstrate it had the staff and resources available to fulfil the contract.
It has a colourful background of bankruptcies, disappearing Glock pistols, Lamborghinis and a boss who "lives in the most expensive house in Earlwood" (we'll bring you more on the chequered history of Unified in another post).
But for now here's perhaps the most important thing about the company - so far as Daniel Andrews government was concerned.
LEADING CORPORATE SECURITY SERVICES COMPANY
Unified Security is proud to be an indigenous company and is wholly Australian owned. We provide an extensive range of professional security services to clients nationwide.
Over the years, Unified has substantially invested in growing and maintaining our Quality Assured Management Practices, and we use these learned efficiencies to amplify our clients' success.
Our security solutions can be tailored to your organisation's needs, and our approach to managing your security is as flexible as your requirements dictate. We have one key goal in mind: to provide you with an all-encompassing security solution that allows your organisation to operate efficiently, effectively, and safely.
Our clientele represent a wide variety of specialised services across an extensive range of industry sectors.
Despite this diversity, we manage all of our client’s needs with a degree of professionalism that is second to none.
How lovely for Unified Security, $10M per month, "despite this diversity managing our client's needs".
Not bad for a company that Dun & Bradstreet reports as turning over just $3.5M per annum.
As Kerry Packer might say, you only get one Daniel Andrews in your life.
So why would the Victorian Government let a $30M contract to a NSW mob like this with no tender and a pretty flimsy "Services Brief" by which to hold them to account - particularly when taxpayer funded police and ADF were available?
That is the $30M question.
And we will get answers.
Every touch leaves its trace.
Yes, that is decidedly odd, how did you find this one?
This is why we need your interesting curiosity!,
Posted by: Liz of Vic | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:43 PM
I'm surprised to find that the Mogadishu-By-The-Yarra Misgovernment even has a "Tender Website".
I thought that the blind, deaf, dumb, bought and bent Misgovernment of Deadly Dan and his Cabinet of performing Dementia-sufferers, finger-pointers, backside-coverers mishandlers of the truth and blame-shifters, routinely gifted contracts for squillions to all their "little maaates" from the Union, or their relatives, or their neighbours, or people they met down the pub or in a brothel somewhere, and the lucky lotto-winners then milk the money dry by subcontracting and subcontracting and subcontracting and whoever the final sub-sub-sub-contractors are - after most of the cash has been leached away, go out and compensate by bonking all the lepers and spreading Covid, thanks to the "competence" of Deadly Dan and his blame-free performing Cabinet of imbeciles and liars.
We could easily fix all this if we had a competent/honest Police Force instead of a Labor(sic) one which arrests/bashes/head-stomps/extorts cash from the innocent and ignores all the A.L.P.'s protected disease-spreaders and their Richmond Heroin, Coke and Ice dealers, or an Auditor-General who wasn't permanently sleeping on the job or a so-called "Justice System" which operates more like a Mafia protection racket for egregious Leftard crooks.
Posted by: Up The Workers! | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 07:21 AM
No mystery here. Indigenous organisations are always vanishing millions of dollars, like wizards or something.
Posted by: PB | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 07:52 AM
The status of that contract shows "expired". Maybe that is an explanation for the $1.00.
On a further search of Google just now, that theory is out the door. I have found a current Vic contract with a fixed value of $1.00
Maybe it is the usual fall back excuse of "privacy reasons" for withholding the value of the contract.
Posted by: seeker of truth | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 10:48 AM
If the Contract was signed on 9 April, the official of the Dept of Jobs, Precincts and Regions has made the signing on the day after the first meeting of the Council of the Crisis Cabinet. Maybe contracts for private security companies came up at this Council meeting so next day the Dept felt it was in the all clear to sign the Contract as the "handshake" deal had already been made by Ms Currie. Simon Phemister was the person who should have signed the Contract under his own hand.
This is what Phemister told the Board of Inquiry, courtesy of an ABC article,
"Mr Phermister was also asked why Unified Security Group, a company not on the Government's preferred list, was paid more than the other providers.
The DJPR paid the contractor $49.95 an hour, per guard provided.
This is compared to Wilsons Security that was on the preferred list, and charged $45.21 an hour.
Unified Security Group also charged more on Sundays, added a daily meal allowance to the contract and charged the Government for personal protective equipment (PPE).
Despite being more expensive, the Government used more of Unified's guards — 1,750 compared to Wilsons Security's 650.
Mr Phemister said his team did take into account "value for money" as well as other safety factors.
"By the time we accepted those base rates, it came to more qualitative factors," he told the hearing.
But counsel assisting Rachel Ellyard told the board Unified Security Group guards were not being paid more, despite the company charging higher rates.
"There doesn't, on the evidence available to the board, appear to be any suggestions that the rates paid to sub-contractors or to end staff were any higher for Unified than they were for other contractors."
Justice Coate mentioned in her report the two women in the DJPR who were responsible for hiring private security. They were Claire Febey and Katrina Currie. And one of the achievements that got them over the line in securing their positions in the Department of Jobs, Precincts & Regions was their experience in the not-for-profit sector.
"...Mr Phemister selected Ms Febey because he considered her to be a highly trusted leader with experience managing large operations through previous roles in the not-for-profit sector."
".....Ms Currie was on secondment to Working for Victoria, a program that was established to support people who had been impacted by COVID-19 and who had lost their employment. Ms Currie made contact by Saturday morning with two security companies and one of them, Unified Security Group (Australia) Pty Ltd (Unified), provided guards on the Sunday morning at the Crown hotels."
Claire Febey's not-for-profit sector role was in "Save the Children". Though in her witness statement, she overlooked to mention that she is on the Board of Fitzroy Legal Services (its Chairperson, in fact) and she has "a commitment to inclusion and social justice."
Providers on the State Purchase contract list should have been used to provide private security for the hotel quarantine program. However, Ms Currie didn't know about this list and she had already committed to Unified when she found out about it. She therefore sought an exemption to use Unified because it was an emergency. What came out in evidence is that Unified had previously applied to be on the State Purchase contract providers' list but had been rejected because the company did not meet the Government's standards.
The government's chief strategic specialist in procurement was astounded by the actions of Ms Currie in hiring Unified and wanted to know her rationale for going outside the guidelines in using a non approved provider as he could foresee risks. He also wanted to know why Unified's services could not be discontinued. This was on 31 March 2020. Katrina Currie pushed for the Contract with Unified and this is her rationale in wanting to retain them -
"Unified is an Aboriginal owned and controlled organisation and has worked with DJPR on related social procurement initiatives. They are accredited with Kinaway and Supply Nation. While they are not a panel provider for security services utilising their services is in keeping with the State Government’s social procurement objectives of utilising Aboriginal businesses. A legal exemption should be sought but Unified are delivering and have been delivering services since Sunday. The rationale for the exemption is both immediate need and their responsiveness but also their status as an Aboriginal owned and controlled business under the Government’s social procurement objectives."
It was then agreed that Unified would be given a contract but only for the two Crown hotel sites they were working at that time and it was further decided that the company was to be allocated no other hotels due to not being an approved on the State Purchase contract list. The other security providers on that list should be given future work. That decision of the Principal Policy Officer went out the window with Ms Currie on 3 April. Unified had wormed its way into being a preferred provider by 3 April by being the first security company operating at the hotel quarantine sites and agreeing to every request made of them by the Dept, requests that turned out to be inappropriate and risky.
"Unified appears to have won over those DJPR officers working on the frontline in hotels, and to have established itself as the preferred provider on the back of anecdotal reports about how well it was performing. Its elevated status in the minds of DJPR appears to have been set in place well before contracts were actually signed and before either of the other two providers had commenced work."
Ms Currie claimed that she had no idea that Unified was using subcontractors and that it had a small footprint in the security industry in Melbourne. It was pointed out to her at the Inquiry hearing that the contract she organised did refer to subcontracting.
Ms Currie disclosed in her submission that she have previously worked with Unified Security through the Brotherhood of St Laurence and its training program for the unemployed. Unified only had 89 permanent staff when it was approached to provide security for the hotel quarantine program. In a March 31 pitch to Ms Currie, Unified's Victorian manager, Nigel Coppick, advised that the company had been able to "recruit specifically for this task a total of 93 recently and long-term unemployed Victorians to support this initiative". That pitch would have pleased Ms Currie no end as that covered all bases with her Work Victoria job role in finding unemployed work.
Unified ended up being allocated 11 CBD hotels and 1 regional hotel, mostly using barely trained subcontractors. Wilsons was allocated a total of four hotels while MSS were allocated five hotels but one hotel was only for a two week stint.
Unified's indigenous connection held big sway in getting the bulk of the contracts, as did their inclusion and social justice credentials employing graduates from the Brotherhood of St Laurence's own security industry training program. The two women in the Department who were heavily into inclusion, social justice and diversity (ie Currie and Febey) must have thought their Christmases had all come at once when Unified hit their radar as being ideal for hotel quarantine security work.
Posted by: seeker of truth | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 11:14 AM
The service brief that all they had to do is "maintain a presence on each floor" which is about what all the security could do within the brief framework
so the direction to security if in the event of any emergency is ring 000.....
remember security has no authority to do anything...so if an emergency incident occurred, they had to call 000.....so the resultant delay allowed the escalation of the problems....no wonder it failed so badly/
Posted by: mal | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 11:18 AM
Like smoke in a sacred ceremony?
Posted by: Andrew Smith | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 12:09 PM
Another person appearing to have trouble bringing the Victorian Government to account is the Victorian Ombudsman.
Lots of investigations resulting in smacks with a wet lettuce leaf.
Posted by: Denise | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 03:27 PM
It never ceases to amaze me the kind of person who seem to be the people who are in
These people have no idea how to run a business and how to employ the people necessary for the job required.
Here they are thinking of unemployment, aboriginality and the indigenous, all certainly
not the types to be working in security where it is necessary to have people who have some knowledge about cleanliness, infection-control and knowledge of people, who would be staying in the hotels.
It is is incapability of the leader who causes the disasters as indeed did follow.
Today, Mr Andrews did not show!
He is not resigning, he has advised, I would have thought somebody would have sacked him by now.
This is not the only scandal he has been in charge of, the whole time he has been in government has been scandalous.
Now with the amount of the contract having been changed they must be busy with a way they have found to cover this one up, as all other scandals have been covered up,'There have been no actions on any of the Royal Commissions which reek of investigation into big crime, well none of them have been followed up, they have only been filed away for reading by next generations, who must see how absolutely disastrous this government has been.
The few things he did yesterday made me really loath him even more, as he was indicating that the Premier of NSW was not doing such a great job. Not like him the 'genius'!, as he indicated, without blushing.
The man belongs in Jail!
What is now happening with these 30 Million Dollars? Dif they give the oney back and
where did it go to?
Posted by: Liz of Vic | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 05:55 PM