In early December the Commissioner’s report ‘Troubling Ambiguity: Governance in SA Health’ was tabled in Parliament.

The report details the Commissioner’s concerns about the administration and delivery of public health services in South Australia. It speaks of concerns in the management of records, the time and attendance of salaried specialists, the rights of private practice, conflicts of interest, clinical trials, special purpose funds and procurement.

The report also speaks of cultural problems within SA Health including a poor reporting culture. The Commissioner draws on knowledge gained from the ICAC Integrity Survey 2018 where SA Health respondents were less willing to report and more worried and intimidated about reporting than the rest of South Australian public administration.

A culture where people are unwilling or frightened to report corruption or inappropriate conduct, will result in an “organisation that learns to tolerate such conduct as part of its operations” says Commissioner Lander.

The Commissioner decided to publish the report because in his view the South Australian public had a right to know the manner in which a critical public service was being delivered.

Since the report has been published the government has established an inter-agency task force to deal with the issues raised in the report.