Outsourced Federal Prosecutors put justice in jeopardy

The CPSU has condemned the Turnbull Government for a proposal to outsource critical positions in the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), meaning lawyers engaged by private companies will be involved in criminal prosecutions including those of terrorists, people smugglers and paedophiles.

Under the plan an unknown number of Federal Prosecutors will be engaged through a contract arrangement, with administrative support staff also to be employed through similar third party arrangements.

The union met with CDPP management to raise its concerns about the proposal on Friday, and has also written to Attorney-General George Brandis and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.

CPSU Deputy Secretary Melissa Donnelly said: “This is a terrible idea and will be concerning to all Australians. Federal Prosecutors in the CDPP do critical work in pursuing evil crimes such as terrorism, child exploitation, human trafficking, money laundering and tax and welfare fraud.”

“This is a crazy proposal – it doesn’t save the CDPP money. In fact if anything the opposite will be the case as the labour hire firm seeks to turn a profit; this proposal is just about meeting the Turnbull Government’s objective of cutting public sector staff. CDPP is being forced to reduce the number of staff it employs directly because of a cap on staffing levels imposed by the Government.”

“We are concerned that outsourcing these roles would not only undermine the important work that Federal Prosecutors do but also damage the reputation of the CDPP as an independent prosecution service. Their work is too important to be outsourced to a private company.”

“By driving the CDPP to such extraordinary steps, the Turnbull Government is taking a pointless risk with the important work and the hard-earned reputation of the office. There is absolutely no good reason whatsoever why this work should not continue to be carried out by Commonwealth employees.”

“I’ve written to the Attorney-General and Finance Minister to explain the importance of this issue. I now call on them publicly to intervene in the public interest so the CDPP can continue to directly employ the Federal Prosecutors who work so hard to bring criminals to justice.”

MEDIA CONTACT: SIMON FRAZER 0409 493 290

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