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ICAC delivers SA Health report to Government

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The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption has handed a report to the Government, detailing serious concerns about the administration and delivery of public health services in South Australia.

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Last month, Commissioner Bruce Lander dropped a bombshell on the state’s largest government department, alleging that SA Health is “riddled with maladministration” and that it “very likely” harbours corruption.

But the State Government refused to give Lander the $2 million he said he would need to evaluate the department – so the Commissioner said he would produce a report for State Parliament that would “bring to the to the attention of those who matter that there is a serious problem in SA Health”.

Lander released a statement this afternoon, saying he had finished his report and handed it to Attorney-General Vickie Chapman.
A spokesperson for the Attorney told InDaily the report would be tabled in parliament next week.

“In October I said publicly that I would prepare a report before the end of this year detailing concerns I have about the administration and delivery of public health services in South Australia,” said Lander.

“I have completed that report and … provided a copy to the President of the Legislative Council (Liberal MLC Andrew McLaughlin), the Speaker of the House of Assembly (Liberal MP Vincent Tarzia) and to the Attorney-General (Chapman).

“Section 42(3) of the ICAC Act requires the President and the Speaker to lay the report before their respective Houses on the first sitting day 28 days after receiving the report, or such shorter number of days as the Attorney-General approves.”

Speaking with InDaily last month, Lander identified clinicians as the main focus of his corruption investigations concerning SA Health over the past several years, and raised a series of grave concerns about how the department functions, including how it manages top doctors who wield outsized influence over non-clinical managers and whose power may discourage potential whistle-blowers from disclosing wrongdoing in the public interest.

Treasurer Rob Lucas has argued that Lander has a significant budget and can do with it what he sees fit – including an evaluation of SA Health – but Lander has argued that would require him to abandon his current anti-corruption investigations.

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