Three corrupt former senior West Australian public servants will be "pursued to the end" to repay bribes they received and more than $600,000 in redundancy payouts, Attorney-General John Quigley says.
A damning Corruption and Crime Commission report released last week revealed North Metropolitan Health Service bureaucrats John Fullerton, David Mulligan and Shaun Ensor fraudulently misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funds.
They took cash and lavish gifts from contractors in exchange for granting them work, and the corruption went undetected for a decade.
It then emerged the men received six-figure severance payments.
Mr Quigley said notices of demand served on the men required a response by Wednesday.
“These (severance) monies were fraudulently obtained because they knew at the time that they applied for them that the only thing they were due was dismissal,” he told parliament on Tuesday.
“If there is no favourable response to these letters of demand by tomorrow, then the State Solicitor and myself will work out the next stage of the legal recovery action that will be taken on behalf of the taxpayers.”
He said the total amount of corrupt payments the three men had pocketed had not yet been fully quantified but the letter demanded an undertaking they would pay it back.
“We want to send a clear message out to all people who seek to defraud the taxpayers that the government of WA will pursue you to the end,” Mr Quigley said.
“That is our firm resolve.”
Health Minister Roger Cook said he had written to the Department of Health’s director general David Russell-Weisz seeking information about immediate action taken in response to the report.
The Public Sector Commission has also instructed all government departments to audit their current contracts to determine if any of them involved the 11 contractors named in the CCC report, which have been blocked from winning future work.
The three men and contractors also face the prospect of criminal charges.
“I expect to throw the book at these people,” Mr Cook said.
“These situations make you bloody angry. We will get to the bottom of these matters.”
THE CONTRACTORS NAMED IN THE CCC REPORT:
– Pukete Alexander Projects trading as PA Projects
– Fox United Building
– Gowdie Management Group
– Howzat Constructions
– Aurora Project Group
– Starnet (WA) trading as IT Communications and Electrical Services
– Axis Fire Solutions trading as One Fire Group
– QED Environmental Services
– Latitude XL
– Swan Group WA
– New Zealand Holdings trading as Westside Fire Services