The Department of Health has adopted a zero tolerance approach to fraud, misconduct and corruption, to prevent another fake Tahitian Prince scandal as witnessed under the former Labor Government.
Acting Health Minister Scott Emerson said that as part of Fraud Awareness Month, staff would take part in a variety of activities to discuss ways to identify, prevent and report it.
“The month is all about staff and their supervisors understanding accountabilities and being responsible for their actions,” Mr Emerson said.
“Although staff already complete mandatory training, the month really brings fraud prevention into focus.
“Under the watch of the former Labor Government, the fake Tahitian Prince was able to squander more than $16 million from Queensland Health. We don’t want to see another situation like that again.”
Mr Emerson said Queensland public servants were fully aware of their obligations to report fraud and would be held accountable for their actions.
“We promised at the election to revitalise frontline services, but fraud, misconduct and corruption can erode confidence in our healthcare system and undermine the good work carried out by our staff,” he said.
Mr Emerson said the Crime and Misconduct Commission’s Fraud, financial management and accountability in the Queensland public sector report had identified five main areas to be vigilant.
“These included financial management, managerial standards and accountability, acceptance of gifts and benefits, managing risk in a context of organisational change and fraud awareness and prevention,” he said.
“The importance of early detection and ‘red flags’ have also been brought to the attention of all staff.”
Since July 1 2012, the Ethical Standards Unit had delivered 83 ethics and fraud awareness sessions to around 4,000 employees across the Department of Health.
“As outlined in the Blueprint for better healthcare in Queensland the Newman Government has introduced policies to ensure a transparent and accountable health system,” he said.
“I expect all staff to take this responsibility seriously. Corruption has no place in Queensland’s public sector.”