Archive for August 10th, 2009

WA Health Meal Entertainment

Dear WA Health Customers,

I thought you would like to hear from me in light of the recent events that led to the suspension of a number of WA Health employees. As you probably have heard or read in the papers, an investigation is currently underway in relation to potentially fraudulent salary packaging claims by a small number of employees within the WA public health system. Over the past few days the matter has been exacerbated by the amount of media coverage and public comment.

Before sharing with you what we know about the matter at hand, it is important for me to emphasize that the vast majority of our customers currently salary packaging the meal entertainment benefit are doing so within the law and guidelines set by SmartSalary in conjunction with WA Health.

At the moment there is lots of speculation of what will happen as a result of this investigation. Considering we have no information about what the future might bring, all I can do at this stage is tell you the four things that we do know.

First, SmartSalary’s Meal Entertainment product is compliant with Australian taxation law and is not a ‘rort’ or ‘scam’ as is being reported in some media outlets. As long as our customers abide by the rules and do not seek to falsely inflate their claims the taxation savings available through this product are entirely legal.

Second, the WA Health investigation principally relates only to serious cases of deliberate misuse, such as duplication and fabrication of receipts.

Third, the potential fraud that is the subject of the current investigation was brought to the attention of WA Health by SmartSalary as a result of our quality checking and audit programs. As an administrator of salary packaging and as a supplier to WA Health, it is our duty to ensure that our customers follow the rules not only of the meal entertainment benefit but of all benefits available.

Fourth, and separate to the meal entertainment issue, there have been some comments in the press in relation to the media to another salary packaging company’s relationship with Brian Burke. SmartSalary has not, at any stage, had any involvement with Brian Burke in any capacity.

It is in all our interests to ensure that the meal entertainment concessions remain available to the public health sector and that those individuals who can access them do so honestly and legitimately.

I hope this information helps you better understand the current situation.

Warm regards,

Deven Billimoria

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Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer
Smartgroup

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