It was revealed in Parliament today that a senior Queensland Health official wanted out of the bungled payroll system as early as 2008.

It’s the latest in a long list of problems over the roll-out of the new system which resulted in up to 4,000 health workers losing some or all of their pay.

Carly Synnott reports.

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In August 2008, the head of Queensland Health Corporate Services sent a brief to his director-general.

It raised concerns about the time it was taking to develop the new system, that the initiative had failed to deliver any viable alternative to Queensland Health and that there was a cost burn of about $400-million.

John-Paul Langbroek, Leader of the Opposition: “Four-hundred million dollars has been wasted across government but it’s okay because only $100-million dollars of it has come from the health department.”

The Health Minister refused to comment on the memo.

Paul Lucas, Health Minister: “What I’m far more concerned about frankly is the fact that it was certified on the 14th of March as ready to go and clearly when it rolled out, it wasn’t.”

And the new system’s problems are continuing thousands of Queensland Health employees have either had their pays delayed or missed altogether, problems the Opposition claims the Government was forewarned about.

John-Paul Langbroek, Leader of the Opposition: “They’ve ignored those warnings and today we’re seeing more lies, more excuses, more buck passing and more denials.”

The Minister for Public Works and Information, Robert Schwarten, came out firing.

Robert Schwarten, Information and Communication Technology Minister: “The Opposition’s allegation that the system does not work again highlights the stupidity and the IT ignoramuses that sit over there.”

He denied the pay-roll system was a debacle saying it was merely poor implementation.

Robert Schwarten, Information and Communication Technology Minister: “There has been nothing brought to my attention to suggest that the system is a failure.”

Carly Synnott, QUT News