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Harney says misappropriation of funds is unacceptable

Meanwhile the HSE begin to seek up to 6,000 voluntary redundancies.

MINISTER FOR HEALTH Mary Harney has responded to revelations regarding misappropriation of funds by the Health Service Executive.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time programme last night, Harney said that any waste or misappropriation of money by the HSE would not be acceptable to her, the government or the health service, and vowed to address any problems.

Harney made the statement in response to criticisms contained in an internal audit report, seen by RTÉ, which showed a catalogue waste of taxpayer’s money and breaches of corporate governance, financial oversight and procurement.

The audit report was completed in June and investigated the SKILL training programme, established by the HSE.

The report found that:

  • Over €2.5m of the €60m SKILL budget had been paid over to an account named the SIPTU National Health and Local Authority Levy account – however SIPTU’s Head Office has said it was not one of their accounts.
  • Reimbursement of claims worth €348,000 were backed up with inadequate documentation
  • No official records existed for 31 foreign trips by SKILL
  • €1,586 was spent on a retirement party
  • Over €12,500 was spent on taxis
  • Funds were also used for mobile phones, laptops, home broadband, travel, subsistence, gifts, and gratuities.

Meanwhile, HSE plan to see up to 6,000 jobs axed as part of a voluntary redundancy programme, reports the Irish Times.

The HSE is targeting managers and administrative staff for redundancies. The HSE has 17,000 staff hold managerial or administrative roles.

The layoffs would not be in breach of the Croke Park, as it rules out only compulsory lay-offs.

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