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HSE Audit Committee concerned about inaccurate reporting

The Committee suggested there should be serious consequences for managers in such cases.

HSE Director General Mr Tony O’Brien has recently issued a circular on the matter.

The discussion took place at the meeting of the Committee in September 2016, where a summary of second quarter internal audit reports for 2016 was reviewed in detail.

The Committee’s Chairman Mr Peter Cross reported that he had highlighted to the Director General the audit of the National Ambulance Service (North Leinster), referred to in the report.

He received assurances from him that the recommendations arising from this audit were matters of considerable focus by both the National Director of the National Ambulance Service and the National Planning Oversight Group (NPOG).

Other audits of concern related to a Drugs Task Force organisation, which identified weak governance in a number of areas.

According to minutes of the meeting, seen by the Medical Independent (MI) following a request under Freedom of Information legislation, it was noted that Internal Audit had alerted the HSE’s National Director of Primary Care Mr John Hennessy about the identified issues.

The Committee also requested that these matters be brought to the attention of the Risk Committee.

HSE National Director of Internal Audit Mr Michael Flynn reported to the Committee that engagement was continuing with accountancy regulatory bodies in relation to complaints against the auditors involved with organisations in two recent audits.

The Health Business Service procurement sourcing functional plan 2016-2019 was also discussed at the meeting.

During the discussion, it was noted that 38 per cent of purchases were covered by national contracts and only 34 per cent were compliant with procurement procedures.

The Committee noted the actions taken to address the weaknesses in compliance with procurement rules identified by the Comptroller and Auditor General in the areas of contract coverage, usage and communication and monitoring.

There is a pilot project underway in UL Hospitals Group to review the causes of non-compliance, which will be extended nationwide early this year.

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