Minister was warned payroll problems could last for 8 months

22 Apr 2010 10:08 AMJann Stuckey

22 April 2010

Health Minister Paul Lucas was warned that it could take eight months after the “go-live” date to fix the error-ridden Queensland Health payroll system.

LNP Shadow Minister for Public Works and Information and Communication Technology Jann Stuckey said a July 6, 2009 briefing note and other documents tabled by Mr Lucas reveal that both Queensland Health and the Department of Public Works’ CorpTech had recommended that rather than fixing 70 identified errors, the use of “work-arounds” to bypass them would not present “undue risk to the integrity of the payroll”.

“This is further evidence of how badly this bungled system has been managed,” Ms Stuckey said.

“In the rush to roll-out this program, multiple warnings were given that errors would not be fixed, but it was deemed acceptable to go ahead and fix them later.

“The September 2009 report by German contractor SAP for CorpTech warned that the project managers did not understand the danger of relying on manual workarounds.

“The Queensland Audit Office also warned in 2009 the manual workarounds process could easily compromise the integrity of financial data — meaning Queensland Health workers would not get paid.

“Despite all of the warnings given, instead of fixing defects Queensland Health simply worked around them.

“Both Paul Lucas and Robert Schwarten ignored expert advice for political expediency, to save money and to save face over a delayed, cost-blown payroll system.

“It is a disgrace that these Ministers would rather subject Queensland Health staff to ongoing stress from payroll problems for the next eight months rather than fix these defects before they gave the go-ahead.”
Media Contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919

Briefing Note available at – http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/docs/find.aspx?id=5310T2081