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Demand for Evidence in Queensland Health Payroll Fiasco reports SME Solutions

(EuropeNewsWire.Net, November 13, 2012 ) Victoria, U.K -- A commission-style inquiry has been proposed by a parliamentary committee into the Queensland Health payroll fiasco to compel former contractors, ministers, and senior bureaucrats involved in the case to give evidence.
Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent, leaving thousands of workers overpaid, or short-changed.

The recommendation, proposed by the he LNP-dominated committee, has the possibility of being condemned as a bid to deflect attention away from another ongoing scandal involving Transport and Main Roads director-general Michael Caltabiano and Arts Minister Ros Bates.

In its report, the Health and Community Services Committee recommended Parliament request Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie to establish an independent inquiry. The committee also proposed the use of its own powers to investigate the failed implementation and obtain evidence from relevant people. This includes former ministers, union officials, parties to contracts relevant to the Queensland Health payroll, public servants, former consultants, and others.

The payroll inquiry will be public in comparison to Parliament's ethics committee closed-door probe into Mr. Caltabiano's comments, and could compel former Labor ministers Robert Schwarten and Paul Lucas to answer questions, as well as contractor IBM.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk would also feel the pressure of an inquiry to fully release documents that currently can not be accessed due to Cabinet secrecy provisions.

According to The New Government, the payroll system was going to cost Queenslanders approximately $1.2 billion. This amount does not include having to pay approximately 1,000 workers to manually input roster data to limit over and under-payments to staff.

Meanwhile, the mother of Ben Gommers, who is at the center of the Caltabiano controversy, attempted explain her absence from Parliament this week. Though her office claimed her absence was due to annual leave, Ms. Bates insisted she had taken time off to care for Mr. Gommers, who is away on sick leave and was recently hospitalized due to depression and shoulder surgery.

"I will always be a mother first and an MP and minister second," she said. "His recovery, and my own, will be my current priority."

The Crime and Misconduct Commission is investigating Mr. Gommers' appointment to the Department of Transport and Main Roads and his $100,000 a year salary.

Despite evidence the pair previously worked at the same lobbying business, Mr. Caltabiano told an estimates hearing he had no "professional working knowledge or experience" of Mr. Gommers.

Premier Campbell Newman did not regret appointing Mr. Caltabiano and Ms. Bates was encouraged to take leave. "We think she's done a great job in trying to carry on and do her job over the past few months putting up with a very serious illness," he said. "But I think with the extra stress of the last few weeks that she needs to get well."

About ( addresses customers time and attendance needs. Its solutions can save a business time and money as well as simplify managing staff’s time and pay. SME Solutions is an established supplier of workforce management solutions and time clock with over 750 installed clients across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

SME Solutions

Customer Service

03 9674 3600

Source: EmailWire.Com
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