Private contractors running security at Kimberley justice facilities could face reduced scrutiny if the Department of Corrective Services downsizes its auditing team.
The Community and Public Sector Union last week raised concerns over a DCS decision to review its management of contracts through the Court Security and Custodial Services Monitoring Department.
Corrective Services confirmed it was looking at the way it monitored its security contracts.
Contractors for DCS perform duties including prisoner transport and courthouse security. Department commissioner Ian Johnson said he was confident the level of scrutiny and standard of contract management would remain equal to that in other Australian States.
But CPSU branch secretary Toni Walkington said a reduction in staff numbers would increase the potential for the private contractors to fail their obligations.
She said monitoring officers tried to visit regional areas twice a year to assess court security and prisoner transportation.
“Effectively it means they will not be in those areas until an incident happens,” she said.
“It is a huge risk to reduce monitoring, leaving the profit-driven companies to continue working with less auditing.”
Ms Walkington said the death in custody of an Aboriginal elder in January 2008 was an example of what could happen when private contractors were not monitored.