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More than €2 million spent by HSE on salary overpayments

The figure is approximately €366,000 below the amount of HSE overpayments paid in 2016, when €2.428 million in salary payments were made in error.

Last year’s figure is still higher than the one for 2015, when €1.851 million was spent on overpayments.

A detailed breakdown of the 2017 figures reveal there were 1,156 cases of overpayments last year.

Most of these cases involved staff in the pension payments unit (320), the overpayments to whom amounted to €274,929, followed by nursing staff overpayments (311), which amounted to €672,198.

A total of 60 overpayment cases in 2017 involved medical and dental staff, amounting to €370,429, while 108 involved health and social care professionals, amounting to €258,024.

According to the figures, the most common reason for overpayments was due to “overpaid hours/rate”.

This error led to 337 cases, at a cost of €1.064 million in overpayments.

A total of 200 cases of sick leave-related error led to €233,756 in overpayments, while in 71 cases, the employee ceased working with the HSE but was not taken off the payroll, leading to a cost of €206,634.

“All HSE areas are obliged by legislation, HSE circulars and by the HSE National Financial Regulations to ensure that all employees and pensioners are paid timely and correctly,” a spokesperson for the HSE told MI.

“Although every effort is made to avoid such an occurrence, in the event that an employee receives an overpayment of salary, it is the policy of the HSE to recover the outstanding overpayments as expeditiously as possible. Overpaid amounts are recouped from the pay of current employees in line with the HSE National Financial Regulations. Where an overpayment relates to an employee who has left the employment of the HSE, these are recouped by agreement or can be referred to the HSE’s legal advisors as necessary.”

 The HSE has assigned a management group to monitor pay-related overpayments on an ongoing basis, including reviewing the reasons for such events occurring. 

Any issues identified as potentially systemic are then communicated to relevant managers to assist in ensuring that such scenarios do not re-occur.

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