Friday, August 12, 2016

Australia's fraudluent gulag-guards

In addition to exposing torture, neglect and child sexual abuse, the Nauru Files have also exposed something else: pervasive fraud by Australia's gulag-guards, Wilson Security:

Self-harm and sexual abuse incident reports filed on Nauru were routinely altered and downgraded in seriousness by the security company tasked with protecting asylum seekers on the island, new documents reveal.

Save the Children, one of the major agencies in the detention centre, protested that they were “usually downgraded without any clear justification”. A spokeswoman for Wilson Security said the company followed the reporting guidelines established by Australia’s immigration department and denied that incident reports are systematically downgraded in breach of the guidelines.

The reason? Simple:
Critical incidents must be reported verbally within 30 minutes and in writing within three hours. Major incidents must be reported verbally within an hour and within six hours in writing. Minor incidents don’t require a verbal report. A written report only needs to be filed within 24 hours. Timeframes for reporting incidents to the department are extremely important because failures to meet these deadlines can trigger financial penalties.

Those financial penalties are up to $80,000 per incident. Downgrading incidents extends the timeline and allows Wilson to escape the penalty. Of course, they're ripping off the Australian taxpayer, but that's just what happens when you give a contractor control over the metric they will be judged by.

It also of course helps cover up just how awful Nauru is, and how many people are tortured, sexually abused, or try to kill themselves there. Which is convenient for Australia's politicians, which is perhaps why they don't bother looking too closely at whether Wilson is really adhering to their contract.

The real crime on nauru is the torture and abuse and coverup thereof, but this just makes it an example of toxic privatisation as well.