The key health bureaucrat in the Royal Adelaide Hospital project had been allowed to go on holiday during a critical period in the evaluation process.
“On 20 May this year, the two final bids for the RAH PPP were lodged and for the last 23 days all the key health and treasury officers have been involved in evaluating the bids,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“However, Dr David Panter, who is the senior health bureaucrat in charge of the total RAH project is currently holidaying in the United States and has been for most of the evaluation period.
“Senior public servants and private sector consultants involved in the process are shaking their heads at the unprecedented stupidity of allowing a key person to go on holiday at such a critical time.
“Whilst Mr Foley has confessed that he is “not the sharpest tool in the kit,” he must explain why he has allowed Dr Panter to go on holiday at such an important time in the evaluation process.
“After all, Mr Foley has claimed he has not seen the bids and that the bid evaluation was being done by the experts in health and treasury.
“For the whole process up until this point, Dr Panter has been the key bureaucrat defending the process in numerous media interviews at the RAH.”
Mr Lucas said the whole bid process so far has been an outright fiasco:
• A USB with confidential costing information went missing and was never found;
• A massive blowout of “hundreds of millions of dollars” in the cost of the project;
• The key health bureaucrat goes on holiday at the critical bid evaluation time; and,
• Mr Foley this week goes on holiday overseas, after Mr Rann’s return from his mysterious solo overseas trip.
“This is yet another damning indictment on the financial competence of Mr Foley and the Rann Labor Government,” Mr Lucas said.
“The reality is, Mr Foley and Mr Rann have lost interest in running South Australia.”