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HIQA board advised ‘caution’ in business plan implementation

By Paul Mulholland - 12th May 2024

caution

The board of HIQA stated that “additional caution” must be exercised in the implementation of its business plan for 2024.

The comment was made during a discussion on the draft version of the plan presented at a board meeting in February.

During the meeting, HIQA Chair Mr Pat O’Mahony noted the plan had not yet been reviewed and he asked the board for comments.

The board said that the plan contained a “very ambitious programme”, according to minutes of the meeting.

“In the context of the wider external operating environment, which is becoming increasingly tense and accountable, additional caution must be exercised in delivering business plan objectives this year,” the board commented.

The board pointed out there did not appear to be provision to respond to new requests or challenges that may arise during the year.

“Changes in the external operating environment may mean it becomes necessary to be proactive in communicating externally where it is in the public interest,” according to the minutes.

“In terms of risk appetite, there needs to be consideration given to the appropriate level of risk that is acceptable in the operating context…. Risk appetite is not one broad appetite, but a spectrum of risk appetites for the range of activities that the organisation carries out.”

The draft business plan was approved by the board and the finalised version was published in March.

The plan, which is on HIQA’s website, refers to difficulties regarding recruitment and retention.

“Successful delivery of the plan requires the retention and recruitment of high-quality staff with relevant competencies and we are conscious of the challenges in this area,” according to the document.

“Challenges also exist in relation to retention of a small number of staff on short-term contracts working on specific projects. We will focus on ensuring that HIQA remains an attractive place to work and offers development opportunities and career pathways to our colleagues.”

In regard to technological infrastructure, the business plan states the current regulatory IT system, PRISM, is no longer sufficient to meet HIQA’s requirements. “A range of measures are in place and mitigating actions have been taken to address immediate risks for HIQA. In the longer term, a programme of work has commenced to develop a replacement system

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