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HIQA awaiting 2020 budget allocation

Additional costs arising from Covid-19-specific measures have not been identified so far by HIQA, a spokesperson for the Authority has told the Medical Independent.

The spokesperson said HIQA is awaiting confirmation from the Department of Health of its annual budget allocation.

“In order to contribute to the national response to the Covid-19 public health emergency, we have significantly reviewed our planned work programme while ensuring that our statutory functions are maintained,” said the spokesperson.

“HIQA is conscious of the prevailing economic circumstances and will ensure that we demonstrate prudence and value for money in the discharge of all of our functions.”

A meeting of HIQA’s board in September heard its financial position was “stable” but budgetary controls needed to remain “tight”, according to minutes.

“In previous years the funding exceeded the headcount sanctioned; however, the pace of sanctioning of staff has increased and therefore as a result of increased headcount, the full funding allocation is utilised,” outlined the minutes.

HIQA’s Acting Chief Operating Officer Mr Sean Angland advised that budgetary pressures had “eased” and “certain ICT-related costs have been reclassified from revenue to capital”.

“In response to the board’s observations, [Mr Angland] provided assurances that the finance situation is stable.

“It was noted that there is a forthcoming resource oversight committee where the budgeting process and contingencies for 2020 will be discussed in detail, given that it is likely that the budget for 2020 will also require tight budgetary controls.”

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