Queensland: nice place for a picnic
The Health Payroll Inquiry heard that the state relinquished its rights to pursue IBM in 2010 after collapse of the health payroll contract to avoid a ‘picnic’ for lawyers, reports the Herald Sun.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh confirmed it was a difficult decision but she believed one made in the best interests of the state, adding ‘I assume that, as is always the case in a settlement, people generally have to give up some things they don't want.’
The AU$5 million inquiry is probing the outsourcing contract won by tech giant IBM in 2007 which included the health payroll - then flagged as an AU$6 million component of the deal.
Queensland’s Liberal National Party Government estimates that the collapse of the system – due to massive underpayments to health staff – cost the state well over AU$1 billion.
Clayton Utz lawyer Jeremy Charlston, who helped negotiate terms of the settlement when the firm was hired by the Government, said any move to pursue IBM in the courts would have taken years.