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Almost €5m in HSE payment errors still to be recovered

By Niamh Quinlan - 04th Mar 2022 | 289 views

The HSE has yet to recover €4.99 million in outstanding salary overpayments from the last two years, the Medical Independent (MI) can report. 

Figures provided to MI show there are €3.1 million in outstanding erroneous payments from 2021 and €1.8 million from 2020, which the HSE is still in the process of recovering. 

Overall, there was a total increase of approximately €568,000 in overpayments between the two years. 

In 2021, €5.667 million was spent on salary overpayments compared with €5.099 million in 2020. 

A HSE spokesperson said the main reasons for the increase in overpayments were “late notification” to central HR/payroll of changes relating to employees’ employment, as well as the cyberattack in May 2021. 

“This cyberattack, which impacted payroll systems and processes in May and June 2021, caused late actions for leavers, sick leave, and unpaid leave, which ultimately led to overpayments for these payees,” outlined the spokesperson. 

By the end of last year, the HSE recovered just over half of the overpayments identified over the two years. 

The HSE told this newspaper that erroneous payments may occur due to: Allowances overpaid/paid in error; dependent pensions paid in error; an employee remaining on the payroll after leaving; a sick leave-related error; and payment made to a deceased member of staff. 

To tackle erroneous payments, the HSE is implementing a “fully integrated SAP HR/ time/payroll solution”, which is in place in five regions. It will be implemented in a sixth region in 2023. 

“The HSE pay-related overpayments management group monitors overpayments on an ongoing basis, including reviewing the reasons for such 

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