Deloitte duo take the wheel at Qld Health after firm handed key contract

In late February, Mr Drummond declared what the department told this masthead was a potential conflict of interest and removed himself from a recruitment decision to fill a temporary vacancy in the deputy director-general role, which reported directly to him.

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The three-month acting position was then filled by a former Metro North chief financial officer – among the group who also left the HHS for Deloitte – who has now joined Mr Drummond in the department on unpaid leave from the firm, after approval from Mr Wakefield . They had previously acted in the deputy director-general role while at Metro North.

Mr Drummond would later be appointed as acting director-general after Mr Wakefield announced he would step down in early March.

Deloitte declined to provide a public response to questions and directed those about the contract details to Queensland Health. Mr Drummond was approached for comment through the department. No suggestion is made of improper conduct by any parties or a lack of experience for the acting roles.

In statements to this masthead, a department spokeswoman said it was standard for work to be outsourced “from time to time when skills or resource demand justifies it”, and that proper procurement processes had been followed.

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“Deloitte was chosen for their extensive experience and understanding of Queensland’s health system and its priorities,” she said.

The spokeswoman said Mr Drummond played no part in the awarding or delivery of the contract in either of his roles in the department or the firm.

Mr Drummond told the ABC last week he would follow all requirements regarding the awarding of contracts in his acting role, including around conflicts of interest, and had sought Integrity Commissioner advice on managing any.

Opposition health spokeswoman Ros Bates said it “beggars belief” that Queensland Health could not fill the roles internally and needed to pay consultants for the strategy work.

Hospital and Health Services have been under increased scrutiny in recent years. A 2020 Queensland Audit Office report found the 16 bodies set up to run the state’s hospitals were rapidly becoming laden with debt and were not effectively communicating among themselves and with the department.

Former senior public servants fall under a blanket ban on the use or disclosure of confidential information obtained, including commercial details, once out of the role. An Integrity Commissioner fact sheet warns that the range of potential breaches “are many” and require careful management.

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