Several former SA Health employees who were overpaid their salary 23 years ago when a new payroll system was introduced will not be required to repay their historical debts to the State Government, following the intervention of Treasurer Rob Lucas.
Mr Lucas has instructed the Department of Treasury and Finance not to pursue recovery of the legacy debts from 19 retired Repatriation General Hospital workers, totalling around $6,800, citing it the ‘right and sensible thing to do’.
The issue was first raised in media reports on ABC radio last month, prompting Mr Lucas to seek an urgent report into the 19 cases.
“I’m advised that under an agreement with the union at the time, the salary overpayments ought to have been repaid at the time the staff members ultimately finished their employment with SA Health,” said Mr Lucas.
“However, I’m advised that due to an administrative error, this did not occur in these particular cases and in recent weeks Treasury sought to contact these individuals to pursue recovery of the overpayments.
“Given the length of time that has passed, the fact the debts weren’t deducted at the agreed time and the fact that– in one case – we are talking about an owed amount of as little as $43, I considered it was the right and sensible thing to do to forgive these particular debts.”
This matter also relates to another 94 individuals still employed in SA Health who will have their overpayments deducted when they ultimately complete their employment, as per the original agreement.