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Katy Gallagher presides over industrial scale data fraud because she cares OK?

By johnboy - 21 July 2012 34

For those coming in late the health statistics scandal can be roughly summarised like this:

    — To meet political imperatives a group of senior people, of which only one has been identified, in the health directorate engaged in massive widespread forgery of emergency department data (12,700 records altered).

    — The health directorate has announced they feel no need to attempt to identify the other culprits, who presumably retain senior positions, with the ongoing ability to fiddle the numbers, perhaps more subtly in future.

    — The Chief Minister (also the Health Minister) Katy Gallagher’s sister was working for Kate Jackson, the only identified data manipulator

All of this was pretty much known on 3 July when the Auditor-General released her findings and the ACT Government responded trying to shove the whole thing under the rug.

The only new development is that Kate Jackson has resigned which is a travesty in itself as she should have been sacked first, after being compelled to reveal who she was working with.

On to yesterday’s events.

Basically all the Liberals have gotten out of two days of hearings is one piece of joyful selective quoting of the Chief Minister:

In an extraordinary admission today under questioning in a Public Accounts Committee hearing about the health scandal, Katy Gallagher admitted she had been around ‘too long’ as Health Minister.

“We need a Health Minister with energy and enthusiasm for the task, not a Minister who admits that she has hung around too long,” Mr Hanson concluded.

This has given the Chief Minister the chance to play the wounded soldier:

More silly Liberal games today. True to form the Canberra Liberals are taking comments I made today out of context. This should be no surprise to anyone who watches ACT politics closely.

For those who weren’t tuned into the Public Accounts Committee hearing into Emergency Department performance today, right at the end of proceedings I made a light hearted comment about the life expectancy of a health minister and the fact that I have lasted longer than most.

Health Minister’s don’t have a long life expectancy. I’ve said it a number of times. The health portfolio is a difficult one for any administration of any political persuasion. I am the second longest serving health minister in the country. I’ve seen plenty of us come and go. It’s the nature of the work – bad headlines, human stories, increasing demand for services that know no budgetary discipline. But it’s also a story of saving lives, immense dedication and incredible human skills.

Amazingly she manages to make not one mention of the vast systemic fraud against the public she presided over.

But my god does she care:

I’m not doing my job to be “popular”. I do my job because I care and I want to improve the city my family and I live in.

What’s Your opinion?


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34 Responses to
Katy Gallagher presides over industrial scale data fraud because she cares OK?
pandaman 2:08 am 22 Jul 12

steveu said :

I just want an ACT Legislative Member for once to take responsibility when they are accountable for a major stuff up. Im sure we are the only jurisdiction in the country that seems to have accepted these sort of things. What does an MLA have to do in the ACT to get sacked?

Nah, there’s plenty of other cogent examples. Health in QLD, Transport in NSW, Treasury in WA. All those portfolios have had scandals at more than one point where the minister has been given a media flogging but then left to their own devices or removed through less than honourable means. Truly straightup accountability just doesn’t happen anymore. Australian society has become too soft and\or apathetic to demand and expect it.

Jethro 12:48 am 22 Jul 12

HenryBG said :

Jethro said :

4 words/ 2 names: Cornelia Rau, Amanda Vanstone.

The first name belongs to a mad cow who’s madder than a cut snake and whose madness has cost the Australian taxpayer millions.

The second name belongs to somebody who demonstrated more integrity than any other politician I can think of ever having done – ref. “Peter Mackay, attorney-general’s, leak of documents”.

So it’s ok for the government to lock people up without any sort of judicial review simply because they have a serious mental illness?

What happened at Baxter and Woomera was an absolute disgrace and, to this day, remains a blight on this nation. The serious cases of physical and mental abuse, mental illness, and absolute abuse of executive power that occurred in immigration detention centres in Australia in the 1st half of the last decade are nothing short of a national shame.

Anyone who continues to argue that the systems that existed that allowed anyone, let alone a mentally ill Australian resident, to be incarcerated in one of those centres without any form of judicial review or oversight, is a person who lacks any form of empathy or respect for basic democratic principles.

Rau was certainly a person with serious mental illness. That doesn’t excuse the complete lack of oversight that existed in Immigration that occurred under Vanstone’s watch. And mental illness certainly doesn’t mean a person should be incarcerated without any oversight or review. Rau was imprisoned under the directions of a junior officer of the Dept of Immigration, and, until the exposure of her story in the media, Immigration didn’t do a single thing to even look into her case. It was a massive failing of the department and, ultimately, the minister.

HenryBG, it has become increasingly clear that you are either a very clever troll, or a very stupid person. I hope (for your own mental health) that it is the former and not the latter.

HenryBG 11:59 pm 21 Jul 12

Jethro said :

4 words/ 2 names: Cornelia Rau, Amanda Vanstone.

The first name belongs to a mad cow who’s madder than a cut snake and whose madness has cost the Australian taxpayer millions.

The second name belongs to somebody who demonstrated more integrity than any other politician I can think of ever having done – ref. “Peter Mackay, attorney-general’s, leak of documents”.

HenryBG 11:53 pm 21 Jul 12

johnboy said :

sv said :

Thanks Johnboy for your succinct summary of the key points of this whole debacle. It beggars belief that there is not similar coverage in the Canberra Times. Their treatment of this whole issue has been “sanitised” to say the least, especially when compared to the nuclear campaign against Zed with time sheets etc (which seemed like it was front page in every issue for about two weeks). Even todays CT front page does not cover the key facts that you have summarised in this post. I just don’t get why they are not reporting this issue?

They’re utterly dependent on government advertising.

Now that’s an intriguing thought….are you serious?

I-filed said :

So the officer who resigned will get her full defined superannuation benefit …

To be fair, you don’t lose your Super for being incompetent.

In fact standard procedure in this kind of situation is a quiet promotion.

What puzzles me is the ridiculously public nature of this laundry-airing – a few years ago I worked for a large hospital which had to play this stupid game of making up numbers to satisfy meaningless and arbitrary government productivity targets to obtain funding.
Of course, people started gaming it (why wouldn’t you? It’s crap, but making up the “right” numbers gets you more funding – duh, no-brainer), and then we caught one of the directors blatantly changing numbers in the database. (Access database. No joke. ED with a catchment area of about 500,000 people and that’s what these maroons came up with….)
Did this make the papers? Duh – why would we let that happen? How does putting this in the news help anybody?
Canberra truly is a circus.

Mr Evil 9:08 pm 21 Jul 12

So many things Katy’s done have turned to shi*,
fortunately, it is never her fault – not one little bit.

Jethro 8:23 pm 21 Jul 12

sv said :

Thanks Johnboy for your succinct summary of the key points of this whole debacle. It beggars belief that there is not similar coverage in the Canberra Times. Their treatment of this whole issue has been “sanitised” to say the least, especially when compared to the nuclear campaign against Zed with time sheets etc (which seemed like it was front page in every issue for about two weeks). Even todays CT front page does not cover the key facts that you have summarised in this post. I just don’t get why they are not reporting this issue?

+1 – I reckon JB’s analysis in this article is pretty much spot-on.

Jethro 8:15 pm 21 Jul 12

steveu said :

I just want an ACT Legislative Member for once to take responsibility when they are accountable for a major stuff up. Im sure we are the only jurisdiction in the country that seems to have accepted these sort of things.

4 words/ 2 names: Cornelia Rau, Amanda Vanstone.

I also agree with the argument that all bureaucrats and minister/s responsible for this mess should be sacked

I also still argue that there is at least some sort of link between Commonwealth funding agreements that tie levels of funding to meeting performance targets, and the fraud that occurred in the ACT health department.

johnboy 7:36 pm 21 Jul 12

sv said :

Thanks Johnboy for your succinct summary of the key points of this whole debacle. It beggars belief that there is not similar coverage in the Canberra Times. Their treatment of this whole issue has been “sanitised” to say the least, especially when compared to the nuclear campaign against Zed with time sheets etc (which seemed like it was front page in every issue for about two weeks). Even todays CT front page does not cover the key facts that you have summarised in this post. I just don’t get why they are not reporting this issue?

They’re utterly dependent on government advertising.

dungfungus 7:27 pm 21 Jul 12

I-filed said :

So the officer who resigned will get her full defined superannuation benefit …

….and will probably take action against the government for “bullying”?

PantsMan 7:24 pm 21 Jul 12

Nuremberg defence once again.

sv 6:58 pm 21 Jul 12

Thanks Johnboy for your succinct summary of the key points of this whole debacle. It beggars belief that there is not similar coverage in the Canberra Times. Their treatment of this whole issue has been “sanitised” to say the least, especially when compared to the nuclear campaign against Zed with time sheets etc (which seemed like it was front page in every issue for about two weeks). Even todays CT front page does not cover the key facts that you have summarised in this post. I just don’t get why they are not reporting this issue?

steveu 6:28 pm 21 Jul 12

I just want an ACT Legislative Member for once to take responsibility when they are accountable for a major stuff up. Im sure we are the only jurisdiction in the country that seems to have accepted these sort of things. What does an MLA have to do in the ACT to get sacked?

I-filed 6:15 pm 21 Jul 12

So the officer who resigned will get her full defined superannuation benefit …

dungfungus 5:34 pm 21 Jul 12

I saw the Chief Minister at Chisholm today. She was campaigning with Joy Burch. Couldn’t help noticing that the CM looked as if she wanted to be somewhere else and lately whenever she is on TV she appears to be reading from a script in a thought bubble.
I think she could do herself a favour and give politics away.
That would certainly “improve the city her family and she lives in” as well.

JessP 4:46 pm 21 Jul 12

So Katy says:

‘I’m not doing my job to be “popular”. I do my job because I care and I want to improve the city my family and I live in.”

So, because Katy ‘cares’ she allows the underlings in Health to forge data to make her, as Health Minister and Chief Minister look better!

When is the election? This is a joke.

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