FORMER Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie has rejected criticisms of his approach to choosing youth boot camps suppliers outlined in a report by the Auditor General, saying a price tag cannot be placed on community safety.
"I wasn't going to put a price on the safety of Queenslanders," Mr Bleijie told media this afternoon.
"You've got to understand how these boot camps operate - they are rough and tough and they are remote."
He said the cheapest option was not always the best choice.
Mr Bleijie said the company handling the Fraser Coast boot camp already had a camp operating and that the local communities and MPs supported his decisions at the time.
"I looked at the processes of the tender documents, I looked at the expression of interest that were put in, I looked at the bodies and the runs they had on the board and I formed a view that the best person to achieve the government's objectives, remember this was a government program, a new program, was to give it to Oz Adventures," he said.
Calls to sack Bleijie over $7m bootcamp bungles
ATTORNEY General and Minister for Justice, Yvette D'Ath has called on Lawrence Springborg to dump Jarrod Bleijie following the Auditor General's scathing report into the awarding of the contracts for the LNP's boot camps.
She said political interference at the ministerial level cost Queensland taxpayers an extra $7.4 million.
"As the Auditor General said, the way these contracts were awarded is open to accusations of favouritism,'' Ms D'Ath said in a statement on Thursday.
The former Attorney General ignored expert panels, awarded multimillion dollar contracts for boot camps and then resisted investigations by the Auditor General.
"Lawrence Springborg needs to sack his Opposition Police spokesman. He needs to show leadership, make some tough decisions, show the courage and integrity the LNP failed to deliver in Government and during the campaign," Ms D'Ath said.
"He needs to answer whether or not he stands by this decision endorsed by the Cabinet to award these contracts; and whether he will sack his shadow Police Spokesman in the wake of this report.
"This former Attorney General ignored his own expert panel's recommendations. He put politics over policy and integrity," she said.
"Some applicants were treated very differently to others and money was spent on infrastructure that will be of no benefit Queenslanders.
"In the Fraser Coast contract, the tenth ranked applicant won the contract.
Contract variations meant that the Billabong contract jumped in value from $2.2 million to $2.9 million per annum no matter how many young people were dealt with.
The total cost for the boot camps over two years will be $12.3 million compared with the initial budget of $4.9 million, a budget overrun of $7.4 million.
"The litany of failures goes on," she said.
Bleijie cops criticism over costly bootcamp bungling
FORMER LNP Attorney-General and Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie has been slammed over his approach to youth boot camps, especially the Fraser Coast camp, in a report released to the public today.
A report from the Queensland Audit Office into the procurement of youth boot camps, which has been tabled to the Queensland Parliament, showed Mr Bleijie chose more expensive companies to award the contracts, even though there were suitable, lower cost service providers available.
The report also alluded to companies being chosen because of "favouritism".
FROM THE ARCHIVES:
The report said that when it came to the Fraser Coast youth boot camp, Mr Bleijie rejected the panel's recommendation and chose a supplier that the panel thought was unsuitable.
The report said taxpayers were paying almost $3000 more per participant at the Fraser Coast youth boot camp than they were for the Rockhampton camp, and $5500 more than the panel's recommended tenderer.
The report said no documentation had been made available to them to show how Mr Bleijie made that decision.
"The lack of transparency also weakened program administration as it clouded which party was responsible for what costs," the report said.
"It also ultimately leaves the process of awarding the two contracts open to accusations of favouritism, which in the absence of a clear documentation trail, cannot be readily rebutted."
It is still unclear whether Mr Bleijie will comment on the report.
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