The ABC has the news that Chief Minister Gallagher has been forced to call in the Auditor-General to investigate the manipulation of health statistics (in particular Emergency Department numbers).
With the Chief Minister having staked much political capital on improvements being reported from the hospital it is a particularly bad look that she’s now admitted the stood down senior administrative staff member is in a personal relationship with a member of her family.
Ms Gallagher says because the staffer involved has a personal relationship with one of her family members, Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr will oversee the investigation.
“I’ve come to this decision as soon as I practically could with all the information available to me and that includes privacy concerns, it included some legal advice, it included some advice around the code of conduct,” she said.
UPDATE: Meanwhile the Liberals’ Jeremy Hanson (Who at this point has spent a significant chunk of his life arguing with the Chief Minister over health statistics) is onto the story of the personal relationship like a seagull onto a chip.
ACT Shadow Health Minister Jeremy Hanson said today this is information Katy Gallagher should have volunteered from day one, but instead refused, including in an official briefing yesterday.
“Katy Gallagher should have admitted this right away as it raises obvious questions about the staff member’s motives. Instead, she intentionally hid it from the public, and presumably only admitted to it after my questioning in the briefing,” Mr Hanson said.
“This Chief Minister cannot be trusted. She covered up bullying in Canberra Hospital, was dishonest about elective surgery data, released falsified emergency department data, and now, didn’t give Canberrans the full story about the staff member who altered the data for a whole week.
“This is about as serious as it gets and is a despicable breach of trust between Canberrans and the Chief Minister. Peddling incorrect statistics was bad enough, but Katy Gallagher has now shown she has no boundaries when it comes to hiding the full facts from Canberrans.
The Greens at this time remains silent and the Chief Minister has yet to put a statement online.