Australia: Questions abound over little-known security firm, Paladin's, bid for Manus Island detention centre contract

Author: Richard Baker, The Sydney Morning Herald, Published on: 19 February 2019

"Small security firm given less than a week to bid for huge Manus Island contract", 17 February 2019

The Home Affairs department gave little-known security contractor Paladin Group just six days to submit a bid for the initial $90 million contract to provide security on Manus Island.

The short time frame for the tender process, which was also "limited" to few if any other bidders, raises further doubts that are likely to be canvassed at Senate estimates hearings....

...Sources with previous experience in applying for and winning large government tenders say this time frame for such a large and unpredictable job made it impossible for taxpayers to receive value for money.

...Little is known about the tender process that ended up with Paladin winning the lucrative contracts, other than it was conducted as a "limited" process.....

...Little is known about Paladin and a small number of subsidiary companies. The group's two key figures, founder Craig Thrupp and his business partner, Ian Stewart, keep a low profile but are believed to have been involved in security work at Manus Island since at least 2013.

...Home Affairs declined to answer questions about why Paladin only had six days to get its bid in....

Instead, it said in a statement: "The procurement of Paladin Holdings PTE Ltd met the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines."

Crossbench senators have vowed to pursue Home Affairs officials over the Paladin contracts....

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Related companies: Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield Services) Paladin Group