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Cost of erroneous HSE salary overpayments increases to €2.4m

According to figures released to this newspaper, the HSE spent a total of €2.428 million on new overpayments in 2016, which is an increase of over €577,000 compared with 2015, when €1.851 million was spent on overpayments.

In 2015, the figure for new overpayments was over €200,000 more than in 2014.

A total of €1.792 million was recouped in respect of overpayments in 2016, meaning there was an overall loss to the Executive of approximately €636,000 last year.

In 2015, only €1.006 million was recouped, resulting in a loss of approximately €845,000.

A HSE spokesperson told MI there are many reasons for overpayments, including: Allowances paid in error; employees continued to be paid after resignation; overpaid hours; premia payments paid in error; and sick leave-related errors.

“The main reason for the above was due to late notification to central HR/payroll of changes relating to employees’ employment,” the HSE’s spokesperson told MI.

“The HSE actively engages with employees and line managers on pay-related overpayments, and the aim is to recover in full any pay-related overpayment.”

The spokesperson also pointed out that overpayments in 2016 related to 0.056 per cent of the overall pay expenditure of €4.34 billion for the year.

In 2015, the HSE established a National Overpayments Management Group, which was to lead on the implementation of an agreed standardised management of pay-related overpayments.

In its work, the group reviews the circumstances of individual overpayment cases within its remit, in order to identify any learning for the HSE in reducing the risk of overpayments occurring and to highlight to management any issues with controls.

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