Roger Cook rejects call to rethink Jim McGinty's health service job
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Roger Cook rejects call to rethink Jim McGinty's health service job

Shadow Health Minister Sean L’Estrange has demanded the state government rethink its decision to appoint former health minister Jim McGinty as chairman of the North Metro Health Service.

Mr L'Estrange accused Mr McGinty of a conflict of interest, claiming some of the corruption uncovered by a damning Corruption and Crime Commission investigation into the service happened on his watch.

The WA opposition has accused former Labor Health Minister Jim McGinty of a conflict of interest in his new job as chairman of the North Metro Health Service.

The WA opposition has accused former Labor Health Minister Jim McGinty of a conflict of interest in his new job as chairman of the North Metro Health Service.

Photo: Pat Scala

"The recent Corruption and Crime Commission report into the NMHS found corrupt activity occurred, in part, between 2003 and 2008, when Mr McGinty was the minister for health," Mr L'Estrange said.

"Is it appropriate for Mr McGinty to hold the position of chairman of the NMHS, while the current Labor minister for health was dealing with some of the findings and recommendations of the CCC report which occurred in the NMHS while Mr McGinty was the minister?"

But Health Minister Roger Cook said the three NMHS employees at the centre of the CCC allegations were not in their respective roles when Mr McGinty was health minister.

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"To suggest the current chair of the North Metro Board has any conflict of interest is frankly ridiculous and shows a total lack of understanding by the opposition of the issues involved, actions taken and whole of government response to this important report," he said.

"Going forward all health service providers, including North Metro, have been instructed to ensure the necessary culture, compliance and oversight of procurement policies is in place so that a repeat of these abhorrent corruption practices cannot be repeated.

"In addition the McGowan Government has requested the Public Sector Commission coordinate an independent review of all contracts identified in a government wide audit."

Mr Cook said Attorney General John Quigley had asked the CCC to forward the evidence on the former employees to WA Police to assess whether they should be prosecuted.

Mr McGinty holds a number of government board positions and was appointed to the Lotterywest and Healthway boards in July.

Nathan covers state politics for WAtoday. He is a former editor of the Mandurah Mail, where he also covered politics for Fairfax's regional titles.