Former Minister for Nothing jumps sinking IT ship

20 Apr 2010 10:10 AMJann Stuckey

20 April 2010

Former Queensland Minister for Nothing Chris Cummins has decided to jump Robert Schwarten’s sinking IT ship and park himself for yet another tilt at political office.

Shadow Minister for Public Works Jann Stuckey said the man who had achieved a rare notoriety as the minister without responsibility would be a great loss to the disaster-prone office of Public Works and Information and Communication Technology Minister Robert Scwharten.

“After losing his state seat of Kawana and an unsuccessful tilt for a position on Sunshine Coast Council, Chris ‘I can park anywhere’ Cummins parked himself in a $100,000 year job as an information technology adviser to Robert Schwarten,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Mr Cummin’s experience as Minister for Nothing and being responsible for less would have been invaluable in ignoring the continuing fiasco that is the $40 million Queensland Health payroll disaster.

“Minister Schwarten’s constant refrain has been that he knew nothing about the problems in Queensland Health’s new pay system and who better to give him that advice than Chris Cummins?”

Ms Stuckey said CorpTech the Public Works Agency directly responsible for delivering the new Queensland Health pay system was aware that IBM had been in breach of contract since August 2008 but had failed to act.

“Furthermore, CorpTech was warned by software-provider SAP’s project review of the danger of proceeding without a business continuity plan in case of a catastrophic payroll failure,” she said.

“How could the minister’s senior IT adviser have been doing his job if, as Minister Schwarten has constantly said, they knew nothing of the situation?

“Where was Minister Schwarten in all this, and where was his senior advisor?

“Obviously neither was paying attention to the hundreds of millions of dollars that were being spent in their department without any tangible result.

“If Minister Schwarten wanted to know nothing then the best person to advise him was Chris Cummins.

“Is it little wonder this Government has so badly bungled the roll-out of this system if that is the quality of advice they have been getting?”
Media Contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919