Press Release

Minister for Health & Children publishes Report on certain accounting issues related to the Health Service Executive

The Minister for Health & Children today published the Report of the Working Group on certain accounting issues related to the Health Service Executive.

The Working Group was chaired by Mr Tom Considine, former Secretary General of the Department of Finance, and included representatives from the Department of Health & Children, the Department of Finance and the HSE.

The primary focus of the report is the interaction between Vote Accounting and Income & Expenditure (accrual) Accounting. It concludes, among other things, that:

  • the enactment of the Health Act 2004 does not change the roles of the Minister for Health & Children, the Government and the Oireachtas in relation to the public health service and public funds;
  • it is important to be able relate information from one set of accounts to another, particularly because the Public Accounts Committee and the Dáil operate primarily within a Vote Accounting structure; and
  • an Accounting Officer remains responsible to his/her Minister (in the case of a Secretary General) or board in the case of a CEO) for policy matters and does not have the power to apply resources voted by the Dáil in a manner other than in accordance with the basis approved by his/her Minister.

The Minister said “Over €15bn in tax-payers’ money is made available annually to the HSE and financial management and control systems are, clearly, hugely important. There is regular reporting on financial issues by the HSE to my Department and through me to Government. Implementation of the recommendations in Mr Considine’s Report will enhance the HSE’s internal controls and improve the accuracy and timeliness of reporting to Government. I have asked the Board of the HSE to give priority to the Report’s recommendations. My Department will continue to assist in that regard.”

Read the Report