blog It’s been one of the biggest IT-related disasters in Australia’s history, it’s going to take $1.2 billion to fix, and it’s even the subject of complex legal discussions between prime contractor IBM and the Queensland Government. Welcome to the world of Queensland Health’s colossal payroll systems overhaul bungle. Today’s news is that the state’s LNP Premier Campbell Newman has canvassed setting up a commission of inquiry (also known as a royal commission) to get to the heart of the matter. ABC Radio’s PM program quotes Newsman (we recommend you click here for the full interview):
“There’s no secret of that. It’s been canvassed in the Parliament but I’m not in a position to say today. But I believe that Queenslanders deserve to hear what’s gone on. This is a $1.2-billion debacle, arguably the largest single public sector project funding you know debacle of all time in this nation and I don’t think it’s appropriate that it just be sort of written off or we say, oh well, too bad, so sad and move on. I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
In my opinion, there is no real need for a royal commission into this issue. We’ve already had half a dozen audit reports and third-party consultant investigations (separately, by PWC, Ernst and Young and KPMG) into what went wrong and what needs to be done to fix the situation. I could understand Queensland’s LNP administration’s desire to hold a further investigation into the disaster if Queensland Labor was a serious political force — what better instrument to keep on beating the former Government around the head with than the Queensland Health payroll systems disaster?
However, with Queensland Labor reduced to a shell and the LNP facing a generation in government … I think the state’s population would rather that Newman and Co just got on quietly with the job of fixing things. You know … the reason the LNP was elected in the first place?