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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8 Responses to “WA Health Meal Entertainment”


  1. 1 Anne Tonti August 12, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Personally, although I am a health employee salary packaging with Smart Salary, I have always felt ethically uncomfortable with the idea that meal entertainment expenses can be claimed for events that have nothing to do with work or contunuing education. If (as I have been told by workmates) a $20,000 wedding expense can be claimed for this item, I think that is a disgrace and the ATO should tighten up its rules.

    My opinions are coloured by my religious beliefs, no matter what the “legality” of the process.
    AnneT

  2. 2 Michelle August 12, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Thanks Deven for the update, as a WA Health employee I was appalled to hear about the current investigation re fraudulent claims. I hope the outcome of this does not result in the benefit being taken away from those of us who are doing the right thing.

  3. 3 Joseph August 15, 2009 at 1:33 am

    It seems as usual, a small number of people are doing the wrong thing and spoiling it for everyone else .
    Thanks for the update Deven.

  4. 4 Shayne August 17, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks Deven – I am still somewhat confused about what is deemed as right or wrong however believe that most staff are doing the “right” thing – and contrary to other opinions, am thrilled that we have some benefits through our salary packaging particularly since the government is unable to look at each employee and their workload accordingly and that no such things as bonuses exist in public service (well, not at my level anyway. Cheers

  5. 5 Keith August 19, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Thanks -Deven I Am A Non White Coller Worker In The WA Health Dept And The SmartSalary Benefit Has Bean A Big Help To Me And My Family By Taking Away A Lot Of The Stress That We Are Going Through These Hard Times. My Family And Me We Could Never Efford To Go Out For A Meal But Through The Help From SmartSalary Now We Can Thank You

    Keith

  6. 6 margaret August 30, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Deven,
    thank you for the up date, I for one have not yet fully comprehended the rewards /benifits of using the entertainment card I hold, as often I forget I possess one.Am I correct in saying that this card can be used for personal & professional meal entertainment?
    Cheers
    Margaret

  7. 7 ceosmartsalary August 31, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Yes, that’s right. The ATO rules allow for the card to be used for meal entertainment that is either personal or professional in nature.

  8. 8 Kelli Garner October 4, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Thats very good to know… thanks


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Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer
Smartgroup

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