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Remits of HSE committees at risk of potential overlap

The “potential overlap” of the remit of the new HSE performance and delivery committee and the audit and risk committee was discussed during the former’s meeting in August 2019.

Under the HSE’s new governance structure, the performance and delivery committee was established last year, while the audit committee and the risk committee were combined.

“It was agreed that the audit and risk committee would have a strong focus on budgeting, financial planning and performance, governance and probity issues, while the performance and delivery committee would have a focus on the generality of performance across a number of domains, including finances,” according to meeting minutes seen by the Medical Independent through Freedom of Information law.

The HSE’s Chief Financial Officer Mr Stephen Mulvany “expressed the importance of not arriving at a situation where financial performance is separated and detached from overall performance”.

“The need to minimise any duplication of effort and to work out the operational logistics for committees was agreed,” according to the minutes.

The Chair of the committee Mr Tim Hynes said that the “conceptual framework” he envisaged would involve a different approach from the current one in the HSE.

“The desired state would not be arrived at in a single operation and would require two or three iterations prior to having a settled view to operate during 2020,” according to the minutes.

Chief Strategy and Planning Officer with the HSE, Mr Dean Sullivan, provided an overview of the ‘Framework for Planning and Performance’ discussion paper, which was circulated in advance of the meeting, and was based on discussions with the Chair and other executives.

“He advised that he and his team were not wedded to any particular approach at the outset and they are challenging previous perceptions in relation to what good performance should look like.”

It was agreed that further work would continue on the conceptual framework for consideration at the next meeting, including exploration of options in relation to potential domains for a new national ‘scorecard’ and translating these into key performance indicators (KPIs).

“The committee discussed performance indicators and the fact that there is a current focus on too many KPIs,” according to the minutes.

“It was agreed that the development of the scorecard should, for the time being, be based on existing indicators, which have most relevance and meaning.”

In February, MI reported how the HSE CEO Mr Paul Reid was “quite shocked” at the performance management systems in the organisation when he took up his role last year.

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