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‘Inappropriate calculation methodologies’ for finance leases need to be rectified — HSE Audit Commit

The matter was discussed at a meeting of the HSE’s Audit Committee in May 2017, the minutes of which were seen by MI through a Freedom of Information request.

The problem was identified previously, yet had not been rectified at that stage, according to the minutes.

“The Committee noted that the AFS continued to misstate finance leases due to inappropriate calculation methodologies,” the minutes state.

“As this issue was also identified by the audit in 2015, the Committee recommended that early steps be taken by the CFO [Chief Finance Officer] to correct it for 2017.”

The Committee noted that the structure and clarity of the Statement on Internal Financial Control was significantly improved from previous years.

The Chairman recommended that the section on “significant breaches” should include a description of the widespread control weaknesses identified during the year and that the document should include a conclusion affirming the commitment to improving the position.

During a discussion of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s final audit findings, inadequate monitoring and oversight of grants to outside agencies and non-competitive procurement practices were highlighted.

The Committee expressed concern at the continued high level of non-compliance with competitive procurement and suggested that the HSE Directorate focus on resolving this issue urgently, “perhaps by prioritising high-value items for 100 per cent compliance in the short term”.

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