A councilor attacks the city council’s security contract

Wilson Security will keep all physical assets in the City of Adelaide – including Adelaide City Hall, Rundle Mall and Adelaide Central Market – until June 30. One adviser hopes ‘in the future’ the council will award the job to a company that was not previously involved in offshore detention.

On Tuesday evening, Adelaide City Administration informed councilors of three future contracts they intended to award with the approval of council. The administration requires member approval when a contract is valued at more than $2 million.

Recently elected regional councilor and self-proclaimed progressive advocate Keiran Snape took particular interest in the third contract, the physical security tender, asking the administration which security company the City of Adelaide currently employed to protect its assets.

City services manager Tom McCready told the chamber he was not ‘free’ to review current contracts due to confidentiality concerns at the public meeting, but said the council uses a “myriad of companies”.

In the future, I hope the City of Adelaide uses ethical businesses not associated with the incredibly inhumane detention of asylum seekers.
— Keiran Snape

Snape asked if the City of Adelaide had considered entering into a new contract with a company involved in “offshore detention centres”.

McCready said it wasn’t something they “particularly” looked at when evaluating applications.

Adelaide City CEO Clare Mockler said on Tuesday evening that she had heard some ‘comments’ regarding where taxpayers’ money was being invested and planned to present a ‘discussion’ regarding ‘protocols’ for Adelaide City Partnerships over the next term of Council.

“It’s definitely a job we would plan for, [and it’s] not, I don’t think, for tonight, she said.

After the meeting, City of Adelaide COO Amanda McIlroy said CityMag in a statement that the council pays Wilson Security for all of its security requirements. The current contract will expire on June 30, 2022 and is valued at $2.1 million per year.

“The Council evaluates all suppliers in accordance with its procurement policy and conducts supplier evaluations based on a number of factors including capability, proven experience, capacity, methodology, social supply and price,” she said in a statement.

Wilson Security was contracted by the Federal Government to manage and operate the security of treatment centers on Manus Island and Nauru Island from 2012 to 2017.

In 2019 The Guardian reported that Wilson Security had settled an out-of-court lawsuit with a refugee alleging she was raped while in custody by a security guard.

Advisor Keiran Snape

Snape said CityMag in a statement, he wanted the City of Adelaide to submit contracts with “ethical companies” in the future.

“Going forward, I hope the City of Adelaide uses ethical businesses not associated with the incredibly inhumane detention of asylum seekers,” he said.

“It’s something I will definitely stand for.”

Wilson Security did not respond to CityMag‘s requests for comments.

The new security tender involves janitorial duties at Adelaide City Hall to attend and participate in council meeting deliberations and is also valued at $2.1 million.

It would also cover patrols of Rundle Mall and Adelaide Central Market and respond to after-hours alarms and calls.

Following internal evaluation procedures, bound by confidentiality, one offer among 12 applications was identified by the evaluation committee as the preferred supplier.

The elected members will vote on Tuesday evening to approve or reject the recommended offer.

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