Should Bob Simcock resign?
Today's Waikato Times covers our call for Waikato DHB Chair, Bob Simcock, to follow his disgraced Cheif Executive, Nigel Murray, and resign for the lack of oversight and expense scandal, we've been bombarded with feedback from our members and supports in the Waikato region on the issue.
We've been looking into this story for some months, and the DHB had, in fact, refused to give us details of the expense claims on the basis that it was subject of an employment investigation. Now that Mr Murray has resigned, we'll be contacting the DHB on Monday to get details of those expenses. A resignation is no reason to keep something secret, even if we never know of the (now moot) outcomes of the investigation.
David Farrar has blogged on the issue here:
So the full story is the DHB hired [CEO, Nigel Murray] despite warnings, his former hospital was poorly run, he didn’t show up at conferences he had been paid to attend overseas, he didn’t disclose his expenses, then finally they turned out to be $108,000 and the local GPs say they can’t work with him.So how did this carry on for three years? There needs to be accountability from the DHB.
David nails it here. Given that Mr Simcock was warned about Mr Murray, before he was appointed, how and why on earth wasn't there control systems in place to ensure that this couldn't happen? It is usually the Chair who signs off on a CEO's expenses, so why hadn't the expenses being public disclosed for years, as is normal in such senior positions across the public sector.
UPDATE: A number of our members and supporters in the Waikato have contacted us today asking us to launch a petition, calling for some accountability and for Mr Simcock to resign.