Operation Certitude continues to adapt amid COVID-19 challenges

Operation Certitude, the transition of the privately-operated prisons to QCS operation, is continuing to progress with a modified approach amidst the uncertainty and challenges currently presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Commissioner James Koulouris said that as a key recommendation of Taskforce Flaxton, Certitude remained an operational priority, and work on the transition was continuing with a modified scope of works and focus.

“This project is the most complex project in QCS’s 169 year history and as you would expect, the COVID-19 pandemic is making the transition even more complex as we work with the greatest health crisis in 100 years,” Deputy Commissioner James Koulouris said.

“The transition requires changes to systems, functions, processes and significant changes for staff. It is like a machinery of government change, integrating a medium size government department back into our operations.”

The activities to get to day one have been modified to ensure the safety of our staff and those in our care. Where QCS had been regularly meeting face to face with staff at AGCC, these activities have now been transferred to digital channels, through our Operation Certitude intranet site and making use of virtual meeting platforms.

Additionally, the significant volume of planned face-to-face training has now been deferred or moved to online delivery where appropriate; operationally critical training for these staff will continue to be delivered in a manner which is consistent with Queensland Health guidelines.

Deputy Commissioner Koulouris said that our AGCC colleagues are already effective correctional services employees and while the delays to the on-boarding training is not ideal, there is no significant risk to the safety and security of the centre.

“QCS is committed to ensuring AGCC staff receive all the support and training required and this will be planned over the coming months once QCS has started to operate the centre,” Deputy Commissioner Koulouris said.

Superintendent Kristine Winter has been appointed as the QCS Transition Deputy General Manager for AGCC.

Superintendent Winter has led the Operation Certitude Custodial Operations workstream for the past nine months and has developed a detailed understanding of the operations of the centre.

Superintendent Winter’s appointment will allow important operational continuity during this complex transaction, and the permanent DGM positions will be advertised in the new financial year.

QCS has commenced an internal Expression of Interest (EOI) process for the QCS Transition General Manager position to allow an experienced leader to help lead and support transition and cutover activities. QCS will commence open merit recruitment for the permanent GM role immediately after the appointment of the Transition GM.

Further Operation Certitude updates and information is published on the Operation Certitude microsite. However, if you have specific questions about the transition, please email OperationCertitude@corrections.qld.gov.au

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