A week into its three-month inquiry into the Queensland Health payroll bungle, the state government has conceded that it may have to write off nearly AU$27 million in overpayment.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the government is considering legal action against former staff members who have refused to repay the money.
"We might have to be prepared to write it off," he told ABC Radio.
"We are actively seeking action against people who have left the employer, Queensland Health, and are refusing to pay back large sums of money, which they were actually overpaid.
"We're talking here about tens of thousands of dollars in many cases."
Thousands of public servants were underpaid, overpaid, or unpaid after a flawed IBM computer system was introduced in March 2010 by the former Labor government.
More than 50,000 staff are believed to have been overpaid more than $90 million.
A KPMG report commissioned by the Liberal National Party government estimated that it would cost AU$1.2 billion to fix and run the system by 2017.