The Rann Government has wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars paying a consultant to fix a massive bungle over workers’ compensation payments in SAPOL, Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today.
“In evidence to the Legislative Council’s Budget and Finance Committee, SAPOL’s Business Service Director Denis Patriarca revealed hundreds of officers had been underpaid workers’ compensation payments over a number of years,” Mr Lucas said.
“Mr Patriarca confirmed SAPOL had budgeted up to $1 million to meet the total cost of underpayments.
“However, even though it was not revealed in SAPOL’s Annual Report, SAPOL revealed consultant Deloitte was paid $227,000 in the period leading up to 30 June 2010 to help sort out the mess.
“Eight months later, in February 2011, Deloitte are still working with SAPOL to fix the bungle. Given the payments made in 2009-10 it would appear possible that payments to the consultant could be about $400,000 or more by the end of this financial year.
“The Minister for Police needs to explain why SAPOL could not fix the bungle themselves rather than hiring expensive consultants just to calculate and organise payment of underpaid workers’ compensation.
SAPOL also advised the Committee some officers had also been overpaid and that SAPOL was now chasing officers seeking repayment of any overpayments in the last two years.
“Mr Foley now needs to confirm exactly how much has been paid to Deloitte.
“At a time when country hospitals and the eating disorder unit at Flinders University face closure, it seems an extraordinary waste of taxpayers’ money to be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on another consultant.