Fines of $1.51million were imposed on Chubb Security Australia today for criminal breaches of the Trade Practices Act 1974 by Justice Annabelle Bennett of the Federal Court, Sydney.
In October 2004 Chubb pleaded guilty to 12 charges of contravening s 58(b) and 14 charges of contravening s 75AZL(3) of the Trade Practices Act 1974, brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The charges related to Chubb contracting to provide security services. At the time Chubb had reasonable grounds to know that it would not be able to supply the contracted services within the period agreed. The contracts were entered into between 5 June 2001 and 4 November 2002.
Clients affected by the conduct included a number of Commonwealth agencies and other businesses located in Sydney, the Gosford region, Canberra and Tasmania.
In handing down the penalty, Justice Bennett noted: "It seems to me that the nature and circumstances of the offences demonstrate the seriousness of the failure of the part of Chubb to implement a system to ensure that it could meet the obligations which it had contracted to perform".
ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said the ACCC would not hesitate to use its power to seek criminal remedies for consumer protection breaches in appropriate cases where there has been deliberate, reckless behaviour causing significant harm to consumers.
"When people have entered into a contract to have their property protected, they are entitled to receive the full services", he said.
Use this form to make a general enquiry.