Qld Health payroll report to be released

Summary:Queensland taxpayers are about to learn if there's any prospect of clawing back money from the state's biggest financial disaster.

The Queensland Health payroll inquiry's report is expected to be tabled in parliament on Tuesday.

The AU$5 million inquiry examined why IBM won the contract to build Queensland Health a new payroll system in 2007 and whether it had an unfair advantage.

The disastrous 2010 rollout resulted in thousands of pay errors, causing significant stress for health workers who were underpaid, overpaid, or not paid at all.

Some were made temporarily destitute, unable to pay bills, and some who were overpaid were falsely accused of fraud.

The AU$6.19 million contract blew out, and will ultimately cost Queensland taxpayers an estimated AU$1.2 billion. The system, which was meant to be largely automated and cost effective, continues to be labour intensive and costly to operate.

Commissioner Richard Chesterman has said that the inquiry will determine why such large amounts of money were lost, and whether anything might be recovered. Chesterman may refer possible criminal charges to the Department of Public Prosecutions.

The inquiry focused on Terry Burns, the consultant who led the tender process for the government.

Counsel Assisting Peter Flanagan, SC, alleged that Burns gave IBM an inside run in the process.

Former Premier Anna Bligh, former IT minister Robert Schwarten, and former health minister Paul Lucas all fronted the inquiry during its last weeks of hearings in May.

Topics: Government : AU, IBM

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