16 August 2018

Department of Health responds to CCC's report into bribery and corruption

The Department of Health acknowledges the findings of the CCC’s report into bribery and corruption in maintenance and services contracts within North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS).

Health Director General Dr David Russell-Weisz said the findings were shocking and the actions of the named officers deplorable and abhorrent.

“I am deeply disturbed by the deliberate steps these senior NMHS public officers took to covertly deviate from rigorous procurement policies and procedures to manipulate processes for personal gain,” Dr Russell-Weisz said.

“While the CCC found the NMHS had robust policies in place, the report demonstrates the importance of ensuring all policies are implemented correctly and staff members fully understand their obligations arising from them.

“The CCC’s report serves as a reminder for all organisations, inside and outside of the WA health system, to instil the right culture in the workplace so staff members are acutely aware of what constitutes acceptable behaviour and conduct.”

Dr Russell-Weisz said the NMHS had already revised and updated its policy and procedures, that relates to acceptance of gifts and hospitality, and was planning for further staff training in this area.

“Unfortunately, this type of deliberate, calculated deception can be challenging to prevent,” Dr Russell-Weisz said.

“The Department of Health, along with all Health Service Providers, is taking a whole-of-system approach to continue to embed cultural change through heightening awareness of best practice in the management of procurement/works, record keeping, conflicts of interest and acceptance of gifts – all of which are key to preventing corruption and promoting integrity.”

Dr Russell-Weisz said the Department would review, and revise where necessary, existing health system-wide policy and practices related to procurement and works.

A system-wide Integrity Working Group, comprising all Health Service Providers, has also been established to develop a system-wide data base/system for offered gifts and conflicts of interest.


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