The government has voted down urgent reforms to put tighter controls on the way icare delivers tenders.
The government refused to support the Public Works and Procurement Amendment (Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer) Bill 2020 in the Lower House despite it passing the Upper House. The Bill would have closed the loophole that exempts icare from the normal integrity rules that apply to public sector tenders
This is an essential reform that follows disturbing revelations about icare awarding hundreds of millions of dollars of tenders without proper tender processes including contracts for a $360 million IT upgrade and spending more than $8 million with one executive recruiter.
Greens MP and Justice spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“Every dollar squandered on these tenders is a dollar that is taken from an injured worker. The Greens will not rest until we restore integrity to icare, whatever the government does.
“The Coalition government has seen scandal after scandal from council rorts to icare and ICAC and is still refusing to support basic integrity measures, Mr Shoebridge said.
Greens MP and member for Newtown Jenny Leong, who introduced the Bill into the Lower House, said:
“It’s hard to believe the government has voted down urgent reform to clean up the icare tendering scandal.
“People’s lives have been ruined by a workers compensation system that denies injured workers the care and support they need to live with dignity while handing out millions in contracts without proper scrutiny.
“The government owns every icare rort from here on in,” said Ms Leong.