Two of the bureaucrats tasked with leading Victoria's response to the COVID-19 pandemic claim they were not involved in placing private security guards at quarantine hotels.
Victoria's bungled hotel quarantining of returned travellers led to the state's horrific second wave, which has led to the deaths of hundreds of elderly Victorians.
On Thursday, two former state controllers in the COVID-19 pandemic, Jason Helps and Andrea Spiteri, both claimed they had no role in deciding on the employment of the private security firms.
The inquiry has been running for near on a month, with no-one yet to claim responsibility for the disastrous decision.
Quarantine breaches involving private security guards seeded 99 per cent of Victoria’s deadly second wave of COVID infections, which in turn has led to more than 700 deaths of the elderly.
On Thursday, the inquiry heard there was initially confusion over exactly who was in charge of the hotel initiative.
Top bureaucrats tasked with leading Victoria's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrea Spiteri and Jason Helps (above), claim they were not involved in placing private security guards at quarantine hotels.
The inquiry heard there was confusion over who was in charge of the hotel quarantine
Victoria's bungled hotel quarantining of returned travellers led to the state's horrific second wave, which affected hundreds of elderly Victorians
On March 29, a Department of Jobs executive made an urgent request for Victoria Police to be stationed in hotels on the first night of hotel quarantine.
Claire Febey emailed Mr Helps, who was then state controller, and asked police be stationed at hotels 24-hours a day.
'We request that Victoria Police is present 24/7 at each hotel, starting from this evening,' she wrote.
'We ask that DHHS [Department of Health and Human Services] urgently make that request as the control agency.'
The inquiry heard that request resulted in a series of meetings that went on for days, none of which resulted in police being placed inside the hotels.
Instead, police were tasked with patrolling the surrounding areas of the hotels where they could be called in by security guards if contacted.
Documents provided to the inquiry revealed private guards were under the initial impression that police would be on site at the hotels.
In a document titled 'Core duties at the hotel', private security