By Gary Culliton.
The core information technology system that would be required to run the HSE effectively “is still not in place”, the HSE National Director of Finance Liam Woods has told the Dáil Public Accounts Committee.
There has been “some system development to try to deal with aggregated data more effectively to produce information both for public transparency and for the board of the HSE”, Woods said.
In relation to the collection of income by hospitals, there was a system in place in five hospitals and it would be going into another five by the end of the year. This would be rolled out across the remaining large hospitals during the first quarter of 2013, added Woods. “There is a system being installed which offers the prospect of improvement in the overall process,” he said. “That is under way. There have been active processes and there in another underway at present, both to support and pursue the signing of claim forms within each of the hospitals.”
The recent Ogden report was commissioned by the Minister for Health to examine the financial affairs of the HSE and, in particular, its strengths and weaknesses in respect of financial management. The HSE Director General designate Tony O’Brien told the Committee on October 9 that the Ogden review did not make “a good companion” as reading matter.
“Following publication of the review we will be able to talk about what we have done already to bring about improvements,” said O’Brien. “As any Accounting Officer would wish, many of the legacy systems have been resolved at this point.”