In 2021, services under the CBD Courts Contract and the CSCS Contract were delivered by WLG and Ventia respectively. During our inspection we observed custody staff from both contractors interacting respectfully and professionally with court staff and people in custody. That continued the high standard of service delivery that we had seen in past inspections.
We found improvements in the Department’s governance and management of both contracts, including several initiatives that have been implemented following recommendations from our previous inspections. This included better contract monitoring and oversight, and improvements in the integration of updated technology.
We heard that since our previous inspection most courts had experienced additional workload pressure due to more complex cases, including multi-accused trials and the impacts of COVID-19 on court operations. Staff of both contractors across the various sites told us that they were under increased workload pressure. Those views were evident in some negative responses to questions in our staff surveys compared to the 2018 inspection.
Our report also noted the lack of consistency in custodial infrastructure and security mechanisms across the state. We were pleased to see that the Department supported our second recommendation, to undertake a review of infrastructure and security at all custodial court facilities to ensure a consistent high standard of service delivery.