The HSE has said the procurement process for purchasing the long-awaited national finance system for the health service “is well advanced”, the Medical Independent (MI) can report.
The estimated value of the contract is approximately €30 million over its term.
The HSE went to tender for the system in September 2016, with a closing date for submission of responses of 7 November 2016.
A HSE spokesperson said it was expected for the procurement process to be completed this year.
The HSE has spoken repeatedly over the past decade about the importance of obtaining a national finance system for the health service to allow it to achieve greater efficiencies in terms of financial management.
However, the failure to purchase and implement such a system means it has had to rely on ‘legacy systems’ that have been in place since before the HSE was established.
In 2014, the HSE established the Finance Reform Programme to reshape finance from a reactive, fragmented reporting function to a proactive, coherent, decision-support service.
The spokesperson said a new national finance system would allow for a wide assessment of performance and financial management.
Information collected once could be used many times, “thereby reducing transaction processing effort and allowing resources to be allocated to ‘value add’ activities”, according to the spokesperson.
They continued: “Transitioning to the new system will also eliminate the cost and effort associated with the level of integration required to continue operating existing legacy systems. The Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) will also enable the standardisation of financial management systems, which will increase the capability of the finance function to support the health system.
“It is seen as the highest non-clinical priority of the contracting authority and a commitment has been made to introduce a new IFMS to improve efficiency and effectiveness and enable increased transparency across the health service.”