Transcript of testimony provided earlier this week by Transfield, a multi-million dollar corporation and operator of the Nauru and Manus Island asylum-seekers detention centres, includes a tabular breakdown that confirms over 400 abuse cases – assaults and self-harm – at the Nauru centre, including allegations against staff employed by subcontractor Wilson Security. The testimony also reveals how Transfield’s own whistleblowers’ facility is unused – the clear implication being that no one trusts it and that a more secure and independent one is needed instead. Key parts of the testimony, in answer to Australian Senate Inquiry questions first put to Transfield in May, is given below, together with a full transcript.
Here is the transcript (pdf) of this week’s testimony by Transfield (answers to questions originally raised at a May Senate Inquiry hearing).
A. Abuse breakdown figures
The testimony shows that the first reports of rape and of child abuse were received by Transfield in November 2013 and that details of this abuse (and subsequent abuses) were passed on to the Australian Immigration Department.
According to the testimony:
Transfield confirmed that all allegations of ‘serious’ abuse are automatically notified to the Department of Immigration.
“The number of allegations of child abuse that have been reported to Transfield Services includes 67 allegations, made up of:
a. 52 allegations of child abuse recorded via Incident Reporting framework to 30 April 2015 ; and
b. 15 allegations of child abuse recorded via Complaints Management framework from 21 February 2014 to 30 April 2015.”
33 allegations, made up of:
a. 25 allegations recorded via Incident Reporting framework to 30 April 2015; and
b. 8 allegations recorded via Complaints Management framework from 21 February 2014 to 31 April 2015.”
Table 1 (extract): abuse allegations:
Table 2 (extract): Abuse by type and (allegedly) by whom:
A. Transfield whistleblower system unused
From the transcript of the testimony:
“Where an employee is concerned about inappropriate conduct observed within the organisation, he or she can discuss it with an immediate manager/supervisor at first instance. However, where the employee feels uncomfortable raising a concern in this manner or is unsatisfied with the response received, the concern can be raised either internally or externally;
a. inappropriate conduct can be referred to Transfield Services’ Audit Services and Risk Group; and
b. in instances where a Whistleblower wishes to remain anonymous, he or she can call the Integrity Hotline, which is operated by Control Risks (an external service provider).
“Between the period of September 2012 to 31 April 2015, the Whistleblower Integrity Hotline has not been accessed by any person that informed the Hotline that they were:
a. an employee (or ex-employee) of Transfield Services;
b. an employee (or contractor) of a subcontractor of Transfield Services;
c. an employee or contractor of any other service provider; or
d. an employee of any other staff employed by any other person, engaged in respect of services provided at the Nauru Regional Processing Centre (RPC) in Nauru.
“Between the period of September 2012 and 30 April 2015, there have not been any investigations as a result of a complaint made to that Hotline from Transfield Services staff that work (or have worked) on the RPC on Nauru. Between the period of September 2012 and 30 April 2015, there were not any investigations as a result of a complaint made to that hotline from any other staff engaged (or that were engaged) at the RPC.”
Note: to Transfield, Wilson Security and Immigration Department whistleblowers: more robust and tried and test whistleblowing secure systems, independent of Government or commercial enterprise – including Transfield – are listed here (section 1a).
P.S. Transfield is scheduled to provide further answers to the Senate inquiry on 31 July.