Q FINANCIAL controls in the health service are improving but are still not totally effective, with too much work done manually, the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General has warned.
The HSE, which had a budget of around €13bn in 2012, is developing risk-management systems to reduce accidental loss but they are still "relatively immature". The report referred to a number of significant breaches of the control system which the HSE has already highlighted.
* A fraud involving accounts payable at a hospital in Cork which saw an electronic funds transfer of €55,000 made to the bank account of a member of staff for bogus invoices. Another €8,000 was spent on items for personal use.
l An unapproved capital project of around €1.4m funded from revenue expenditure. It involved an upgrade of a mental health facility in Toghermore, resulting in a €2m overspend. l A settlement with the Revenue Commissioners of €54,000 due to underpayment of PRSI.
The report noted that legislation which came into effect in March 2013 allows the sharing of data between the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Social Protection and the HSE.
This allows the HSE to check on medical card holders whose means may have changed. The Comptroller said in addition to the normal three-yearly review of medical card holders, other reviews were introduced during 2012 in relation to medical cards which had been inactive for more than 12 months.