PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Aramark announced today that it will continue its partnership with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) after an investigation by the department found the company was not responsible for incidences of illness or infestation. Aramark and state officials have also reached agreement on comprehensive contract reforms to address critical operational issues that have hindered the partnership over the past seven months.
"We greatly appreciate that the MDOC investigated all recent allegations connecting Aramark to inmate illnesses and pests and determined that none of these incidents were caused by our company," said John Hanner, President, Aramark Correctional Services.
"We also appreciate the recognition by the state that there have been errors made on both sides," said Hanner. "We fully acknowledge that our performance has not always been perfect and are committed to continuing to improve."
Aramark, the state and MDOC agreed to a number of changes that will greatly improve implementation of the food service contract.
"We are encouraged by these contractual and operational changes, and are confident they will ensure a more positive and productive partnership going forward," added Hanner.
In order to facilitate these changes and ensure compliance, Aramark agreed to pay a fine assessed by the state which the state will use to implement structural changes on the state side, including appointing an independent Contract Oversight Senior Advisor, not employed by Aramark or the DOC, but working directly in the state's Executive Office.
Some of the other vital changes announced by the state and MDOC include:
- Implementation of a system of independent contract monitors; currently the contract is evaluated by 8 former state food workers who were displaced by outsourcing.
- A full review of the DOC warehousing system with adjustments necessary to facilitate a more efficient food service supply chain; the current system prevents Aramark from controlling the distribution of food to DOC facilities;
- Establishment of a set of mutually-agreed performance metrics to be used to objectively measure Aramark's performance going forward; this balanced scorecard will allow for accountability and factual reporting without interference from ongoing rumors and speculation;
- Re-design of current Aramark training and staffing procedures in close coordination with the DOC.
"On behalf of our dedicated employees who proudly live and work in Michigan, we are committed to continuing to serve the Michigan Department of Corrections while saving state taxpayers millions of dollars every year," Hanner added.
Aramark has been a valued partner to the corrections industry for nearly 40 years, helping 500 correctional facilities around the country maintain safe, stable environments for millions of offenders, officers and staff every day.