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If this is true, I wonder if action will be taken against the auditors who signed off on this? (In addition to action against the officials.)_________________________________________________________________

Revealed: Where the HSU millions have gone

  • by: By Malcolm Farr, National Political Editor
  • From:
  • April 30, 2012 6:26PM


  • Investigation into HSU uncovers big spending allegations
  • Cash spent without basic checks on value-for-money
  • Interim report stresses contents are allegations only

Related Coverage

AN INVESTIGATION into the notorious East Branch of the Health Services Union has uncovered allegations of big spending on a supplier linked to an official of the union.

It also has found major contracts were let through without the union even seeking quotes from competing suppliers.

Staggering amounts of cash were spent without basic checks on value-for-money with other sources.

In one case an IT company was paid $15,000 a month to look after the union’s computers which had an HSU official on its board while another company was actually doing the work, according to an interim report into the HSU’s finances by Ian Temby QC.

The interim report, commissioned by the union, stresses that its contents are allegations only.

However, the allegations relate to large contracts let to companies without the usual precautions. It criticises the union for a lack of formalised controls on outlays, and notes most of the bills were paid by credit card.
“It s not union practice to call tenders or otherwise market test the amounts charged by suppliers of goods and services to the union,” the interim report states.

“The amounts involved are large.”

The contracts included $750,000 a year to Compugraphics Pty Ltd for printing, including $2.6 million between March 2007 and September 2011 for the union magazine.

The interim report comes the day after Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced MP Craig Thomson, union secretary from 2003 to 2007, would quit the ALP and sit as an independent.

The Temby report does not lay blame with individuals, saying that “we have not sought to allocate responsibility for the present unsatisfactory situation”.

But it makes clear the practices have to be fixed.

This is unlikely to happen before court action by Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten to wind up East Branch, which covers the HSU in NSW and Victoria, and appoint an administrator.

The Temby interim report also noted that from October 2007 to September 2011 a company called Access Focus was paid $5 million. It suggests there was no round of tendering for that contract.

The HSU East Branch tonight said it welcomed the interim report into governance issues and said it had highlighted “a number of issues around the procurement procedures, budgeting and accounting resources”.

“The Union Council will review Mr Temby’s report, report back to the members on its findings and conclusions.”Read more:


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