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Health Services Union boss accused of IT tender badness

Cops called to sort out double-dipping

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The national president of the Health Services Union (HSU), Michael Williamson, is at the centre of a New South Wales police investigation over allegations of secret commissions and serious conflicts of interest.

Williamson, who is also the vice-president of the NSW Australian Labor Party, appears to have kept his position as director of IT company United Edge hidden from the HSU, which is a significant client.

United Edge is a key telecommunications and IT supplier for the HSU providing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of services to the union.

In his official ALP bio, Williamson is touted as turning the HSU around. The bio said: “[H]e has used his entrepreneurial skills to negotiate an ever expanding suite of services for members, making it more attractive than ever to be a member of the union.”

According to reports from the Sydney Morning Herald, Williamson’s directorship of United Edge is not disclosed in the HSU’s annual reports.

The report also alleges that for over a year HSU members were paying two companies for the same servicing of the union’s software systems. One was to a Victoria-based IT company and the other was to United Edge. Both companies are believed to have been paid $15,000 per month to maintain the same membership management system.

Williamson put out a statement rejecting the allegations and indicated that he was seeking legal advice.

The police announced yesterday that it had launched "Strike Force Carnarvon" to investigate the claims that were published in the SMH. ®

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