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Health Minister’s review raises serious questions

Documents released under the Official Information Act paint a different story to claims made by David Clark that the review of the $90 million National Oracle Solution is independent, Opposition Associate Health Spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“The documents released in the OIA clearly outline flaws in the independence of this review, despite Dr Clark’s suggestions to the contrary, and raise serious questions about potential cover-ups.

“For example, the contract for the $150,000 independent Deloitte review includes assessing the solution as ‘designed and built’. Yet the schedule of services revealed under the OIA shows Deloitte and Deloitte related parties were paid in 2013 for ‘design and build support.’

“Furthermore, on April 5, Deloitte replied to Ministry of Health questions saying ‘none of the reviewers have been involved in delivering any of the National Oracle Solution work other than Thorsten’s involvement in workshops in 2011’.

“Thorsten Engel is a key member of the independent review panel and his previous involvement in the program is clearly a conflict of interest.

“Deloitte is the owner of the company that is the subject of the so-called independent review and that type of conflict cannot be declared away. The final damming evidence revealed in the OIA is an email from Deloitte on April 5 2018 stating their preference that the conflict of interest information ‘is not made public’.

“The Ministry and Minister of Health have displayed an appalling lack of judgement in appointing an independent reviewer that isn’t independent. He must now refer the whole review process to the Office of the Auditor General for scrutiny of the probity of this appointment.

“There is simply no way the public can have trust in the Minister and his office when a clear conflict of interest is present and yet nothing is done to address it.’’

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