"Health executives stood down over nepotism claims"

The chief executive of the state's largest health service allegedly asked for his daughter to be employed as a condition of a contract awarded by the Metro North Health and Hospital Board.

Malcolm Stamp and the executive of corporate services and performance, Scott McMullen, were both stood down from their roles on Monday afternoon following a preliminary investigation by Minter Ellison Lawyers into an "employment procurement matter", which has since been referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Fairfax Media understands it relates to the awarding of a contract "on the condition of" Mr Stamp's daughter being employed.  

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg. Photo: Glenn Hunt

It has been alleged additional incentives were offered if Mr Stamp's daughter was hired.

Mr Stamp's daughter, who Fairfax Media has chosen not to name, is believed to have come on board an outsourced Queensland Health project as a graphic designer.

She is understood to have been hired by Healthcare Procurement Partners, a business that is based in both the United Kingdom and Brisbane, which Fairfax Media has been told had an existing relationship with Queensland Health before Mr Stamp was hired in 2013.

Both Mr Stamp and Mr McMullen deny the allegations and say they look forward to presenting their case during the investigation.

Mr Stamp was hired by Queensland Health in September last year, after 39 years in the National Health Service in England, including 25 years in senior executive roles.  

His daughter is understood to have wanted to join her father in Australia and applied for jobs earlier this year, before being awarded a position as part of the Healthcare Procurement Partners contract.

Mr McMullen, who is holidaying in Bali, is believed to have been made aware of his suspension via a text message and was not told before board chair Paul Alexander sent an email to staff about the suspensions.

Mr McMullen was involved in the renewal of contracts for the Metro North region.

An anonymous complaint regarding the hiring of Mr Stamp's daughter six months ago led to the initial investigation.

But supporters of Mr Stamp claim he has been singled out unfairly.

They said Mr McMullen had distributed Mr Stamp's daughter's resume to Healthcare Procurement Partners when she decided to move to Australia and won the position on merit - but the matter has since been coloured by "politics" and "paranoia" between the Metro Health board and the health region, managed by Mr Stamp. 

Healthcare Procurement Partners director Daniel Williams said his company was co-operating with the investigation.  

"HPP is cooperating with the board's requests for help with its investigation and currently awaits clarification of the allegations and scope of the investigation and if it concerns HPP," he said via email. 

"With respect for that process, I can't comment further about the investigation at this point in time.

"However, I can confirm that HPP has worked  with the Metro North Hospital and Health Service since September 2013 and continue to do so. 

"We have already delivered cost savings of $7.5 million and we're on track to achieve a further $8 million of savings by 2015.

These facts are already known publicly." 

The government has lost two seats in the Metro North health region - in the Redcliffe and Stafford by-elections - since February. 

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg would not elaborate on the investigation, only saying it was regarding "the procurement of someone to a particular position".

"In these circumstances, I will not canvas the details except to give an assurance that there were no clinical or patient safety issues," he said.

"The issues were matters that relate to employment and procurement."

The CCC investigation continues.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/health-executives-stood-down-over-nepotism-claims-20140909-10ems5.html#ixzz3D4nZId4t

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