10/03/2010 - 15:48

60 health workers leave over rorts

10/03/2010 - 15:48

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A health department investigation of salary packaging rorts has resulted in 60 health professionals, including 23 doctors, having their positions terminated or resigning.

60 health workers leave over rorts

A health department investigation of salary packaging rorts has resulted in 60 health professionals, including 23 doctors, having their positions terminated or resigning.

The department said today it has completed its investigation into fraudulent salary packaging claims.

It has resulted in the termination or resignation to date of 17 administrative staff, two health professionals, 23 doctors and 18 nurses from across the metropolitan area health services.

Acting Director General Kim Snowball said all meal entertainment activity had been examined as part of the investigation into concerns that some staff were fraudulently claiming meal entertainment expenses.

All those subject to investigation have received letters regarding their alleged misconduct requesting an explanation.

Mr Snowball also announced a raft of changes to the meal entertainment salary packaging scheme in the wake of the misconduct, which will come into effect on 1 April 2010.

The changes include:

An annual limit of $10,000 per Fringe Benefits Tax year.
All purchases to be by way of a debit meals card only, no cash or other transactions will be accepted.
Only one debit meals card will be issued per employee, additional partner cards will not be issued.
Employees must retain, and produce on request to their provider or employer, the restaurant receipts or tax invoices which must be in English and clearly identify the meals purchased. The meals card transactions will be audited.
Only restaurant meals (including drinks and beverages) consumed on the premises will be able to be claimed, and the meals card must not be used for any other purchases or transactions.
Meals must be for two or more persons, substantial (i.e. not snacks), and the total purchase must be for at least $20 (an increase from the $15 minimum which has been in place since 2004).
Takeaway or home delivered meals are not acceptable.
Meals purchased overseas are not acceptable.

Mr Snowball said while WA Health had concluded the comprehensive investigation of misconduct normal auditing of the use of this scheme would be maintained into the future.

 

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