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Salary payments made in error rise in 2019

The HSE spent over €1 million more in salary overpayments last year than in 2018, despite attempts to tackle the problem, the Medical Independent (MI) can reveal.

In 2019, €3.446 million was incorrectly spent on salary overpayments, while in 2018 the figure was €2.245, a difference of €1.2 million.

The 2019 figure relates to 1,492 incidents of overpayments, with the 2018 figure relating to 1,357 incidents.

A spokesperson for the HSE told MI that the most common reasons for overpayments are staff who have charged for incorrect hours and payments made in error.

The main reasons for overpayments in 2019 were as follows: Allowances overpaid/paid in error; dependent pension paid in error; employee ceased and not taken off payroll; input error — calculation and/or data; overpaid hours/rate; overpaid travel expenses; premia paid in error; and the death of an employee.

The spokesperson noted that at the end of 2019, over 61 per cent of the overpayments identified in 2018 and 2019 had been recovered.

“The recovery of 2018 overpayments is currently at 73 per cent as they are being collected over a longer period of time.”

The current amount outstanding for 2019 is €1.63 million, and €604,113 for 2018.

The HSE is currently implementing a fully-integrated ‘SAP HR/Time/Payroll solution’, which the spokesperson said will help address overpayments.

“This is now in place in four regions, the fifth will be implemented in 2020 with a roll-out plan for the other three regions.”

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