Queensland to go after players in payroll debacle

Summary:The Queensland government says it will go after current and former public servants who contributed to the state's health payroll disaster.

Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says no stone will be left unturned in seeking to punish individuals criticised by an inquiry into the billion-dollar Queensland Health payroll fiasco .

Those in the hot seat include former under treasurer of Queensland Gerard Bradley, who now chairs the state's investment arm, the Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC).

Treasurer Tim Nicholls appointed Mr Bradley as QTC chairman in May 2012, praising him as a highly respected public official who would help the government deliver financial reforms.

Springborg was asked on Wednesday whether he is happy that Bradley is at the helm of QTC.

"I'm not happy with a whole range of things, including a range of these individuals who have been previously involved in this," he told ABC radio.

"The government is currently looking at what can be done."

He put individuals criticised in the inquiry report on notice.

"We will be leaving no stone unturned to seek redress against those individuals that are currently with us in some way, or may have left, that we've got options against," Springborg said.

Springborg said disciplinary action is being considered against those who are still working for the government.

"With regard to those people who may have moved on from their existing substantive positions to other positions, and some of them may have exited, there is the opportunity to consider a referral for official misconduct to the CMC," he said.

But he added: "It is questionable as to whether that would be able to stand in the circumstances, but it is worth considering."

A spokesman for Springborg later said the inquiry had found that Bradley was naive, and had given former IBM employee Terry Burns a lot of control in the tender process, without questioning whether he was acting in the best interests of Queensland.

"He put an incredible lot of trust in a man who's experience in the government's shared services was five days as a consultant, and he had only been in the country for five months," he told AAP.

"Bradley is now head of Queensland's investment arm. He controls the state's money. That is concerning."

AAP has sought comment from Nicholls about any ramifications for Bradley's role as chair of the QTC.

The inquiry report, released on Tuesday, found that there is no way Queensland can pursue damages from IT company IBM, because the former Labor government settled, rather than sued, despite the rollout of a faulty system.

The system malfunctioned spectacularly from the moment it was rolled out in 2010, and left thousands of health workers incorrectly paid.

What began as an AU$6.19 million project is ultimately expected to cost taxpayers AU$1.2 billion.

Springborg said the government is considering whether to blacklist IBM, and never again award it contracts.

"We are looking at options as to whether we should ever contract with them again," he said.

Topics: Government : AU, IBM

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