Qld Govt to apologise to Health workers

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Qld Govt to apologise to Health workers

Still using 800 employees a fortnight for payroll.

The Queensland Government will send a written apology to all existing workers in its Health department over the payroll system bungle which left many unpaid and out of pocket.

An inquiry into the failed health payroll project, which commenced under the former Labor state government, this week found IBM should never have been appointed the prime contractor to the project, which will ultimately cost Queensland taxpayers $1.25 billion.

The payroll project began in 2010 when the system went live with defects that caused Health employees to be paid incorrectly or not paid at all. 

The report, tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, found the project suffered from bad decisions from conception to implementation - with the appointment of IBM made in haste, based on price, and without due consideration.

It also discovered IBM staff had acted in an unethical manner by attempting to read competitor’s proposals and disseminating sensitive CorpTech information.

IBM has denied the findings and said the system’s go-live was hindered through state government business process and data migration issues outside of its control.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg today said while the apology would not reverse the loss of 1500 jobs or the anguish of health workers who were left to rely on handouts and charity, it would provide some relief to the 80,000 Queensland health workers who remain employed. 

“Three years later, repairs and administrative changes by the Newman Government have stabilised its operation, but each fortnight more than 800 workers are still required to ensure Queensland Health staff are paid,” he said.

“The ongoing cost of repairs and manual support for the health payroll system will be a burden on Queensland Health services until 2017.”

A KPMG audit last year estimated a cost of $839.9 million over the next five years to fix the system, bringing it to a total cost of $1.25 billion. The inquiry itself cost $5 million over its three-month life. 

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman this week said IBM would be banned from entering any new contracts with the Queensland Government until it improves its governance and contracting practices.

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