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HSE pays over €1.5m in error

The amount the HSE erroneously paid in salary overpayments rose by over €1.5 million in 2020 compared to the previous year, the Medical Independent (MI) can report.

In 2020, €5.099 million was paid in overpayments compared to €3.446 million in 2019, an increase of €1.653 million, according to figures supplied by the HSE.

The main reasons for overpayments in 2020 were as follows: Allowance overpaid/paid in error; dependent pension paid in error; and an employee leaving but not taken off payroll.

Other factors include input errors; overpaid hours/rates; overpaid travel expenses; premia paid in error; and salaries paid to deceased staff.
A spokesperson told MI that at the end of last year, over 55 per cent of the overpayments identified in 2019 and 2020 had been recovered.

“The recovery of 2019 overpayments is currently at 64 per cent as they are being collected over a longer period of time,” according to
the spokesperson.

The current amount outstanding over the two years is €3.818 million.
When asked about its actions to reduce erroneous payments, the HSE spokesperson pointed out that it is currently implementing a fully integrated ‘SAP HR/time/payroll solution’.

“This is now in place in five regions, the sixth will be implemented in 2022 with a roll out plan for the other two regions. It will also implement standardised processes and procedures,” they outlined.

“This will remove systemic risks of overpayments and increase compliance
with the national financial regulations.”

A payroll compliance unit is being established under the governance of national Human Resources to provide a dedicated focus on reducing systemic payroll overpayments. “The recruitment process is expected to begin later this year,” added the spokesperson.

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