'Cartridgegate' extends to Health
Monday, 17 October 2011
The Labor Government’s printer cartridge scandal has spread to SA Health, department executives confirmed today.
Chief Executive David Swan told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee that excessive purchases of $161,781 had been identified at three SA Health locations.
Mr Swan also confirmed that three staff had accepted gifts or benefits from the private supplier. They have been suspended on full pay and one of these staff may have already resigned. The matter has also been referred to SAPOL’s Anti-Corruption Branch and the Government Investigations Unit.
This comes after it was revealed at a Budget and Finance Committee meeting last month that over $80,000 of cartridges had been purchased by one section of Premier Rann’s own Department of Premier and Cabinet.
“It is time for the Premier and Labor Government to come clean and publicly reveal the extent of this scandal right across the Government,” Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said.
“It should not be up to the Budget and Finance Committee to have to publicly reveal over many months the real extent of this scandal.”
Mr Swan also confirmed SA Health has spent $8.5 million on excavation and installing boom gates and other facilities for car parking, as well as employed at least five or six extra permanent staff.
“If the Government reverses their decision on car parking, this $8.5 million of taxpayers’ money will be lost and the five or six staff will need to find alternative jobs,” Mr Lucas said.
“Furthermore, the estimated annual loss of revenue for SA Health if it sells the car parks would be $11.5 million per year.”
Other evidence included:
• Overspending by SA Health was $116 million in 2010/11
• As at 30 June 2011 SA Health employed 170 FTE staff more than the Treasury-imposed cap
• SA Health spent $301,213 on two consultants – Ernst & Young and Deloitte – looking at issues relating to managing the FTE cap and the budget.
• $2 million would be spent on public art in the new Royal Adelaide Hospital for ‘way finding’ – ie how to find your way around the new hospital!