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€21.9m in non-compliant procurement at Beaumont — C&AG report

By Catherine Reilly - 13th May 2020

Non-compliant procurement of €21.9 million at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, is referenced in a Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) report on the hospital’s 2018 accounts.

The C&AG Mr Seamus McCarthy found that the hospital’s financial statements properly represented its income and expenditure for 2018.

However, in his December 2019 report for the Houses of the Oireachtas, he drew attention to Beaumont’s statement on internal control, “which discloses non-compliant procurement in the amount of €21.9 million. The statement also sets out the steps being taken by the hospital to address non-compliance with procurement rules.”

According to the hospital’s statement on internal control, it has audit, finance, and governance and risk committees. It has also established an internal audit function, “which is adequately resourced and conducts a programme of work which is approved by the audit committee.”

The statement said that, throughout the year, the board “continued to conduct tendering processes to meet compliance requirements, monitored through the finance committee’s monthly review of progress on the percentage of total expenditure which is compliant and the steps being taken to address non-compliance”.

“The reports on the level of expenditure where the related procures complied with procurement rules showed that compliance levels increased from 82 per cent (when measured in terms of value of expenditure) during 2017, to 84 per cent by the end of 2018.

“Procurement resources are focused on preventing new non-compliant contracts from commencing and tendering existing contracts on a phased basis.”

The €21.9 million figure included €2.5 million where the hospital claimed a derogation due to advantageous terms, as permitted under EU procurement law.

The statement also drew attention to “weaknesses in ICT infrastructure”, with investment needed for a new core information system, a new location for server rooms, and a business continuity process to be implemented.

Meanwhile, the accounts show that the hospital raised income of €32,579,000 through private/semi-private inpatient charges in 2018, down from €34,390,000 in the previous year.

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