Audit raises cash management concerns at County Hospital

A HSE West internal audit made a number of negative findings in relation to Roscommon Hospital.

  The audit of cash management at the hospital, completed in September 2014, was recently released under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI). This was the most recent audit on the hospital that the HSE had available.

  It found that some patients had been charged in error.

  “The internal control environment for cash management must be strengthened in a number of areas,” the report added.

  The audit observed “contraventions” in National Financial Regulations.

  It found that there was evidence that “segregation of duties at Roscommon Hospital was inadequate, with a number of clerical staff members having a wide span of control over canteen and patient income”.

  The report added: “There was evidence that an individual clerical staff member could prepare the bank lodgement and there was no subsequent validation of these lodgments by an independent officer.”

  The audit observed “inaccuracies in the amounts being banked”.

  The audit found that was a “high risk” in this regard.

  A similar conclusion was made in relation to canteen income, with till listings and canteen cash sheets missing and instances of “inaccurate recording”.

  In relation to patient accounts income, the audit found that “a small number of patients had been charged in error”.

  It added: “The lack of segregation of duties and supervision means that accurate and authorised accounting and physical security cannot be assured.

  “Financial records for the periods audited should be reviewed with a view to correcting inaccuracies.”

  The audit made similar findings in relation to bank lodgements, again pointing to the lack of segregation of duties and supervision.

  It added: “This applies to cancellation of valid patient accounts, and inaccurate bank lodgement forms.

  “Bank lodgements were not being verified by an independent officer.”

  At first, the HSE heavily redacted the audit before releasing it under FoI but, on appeal, a number of previously redacted parts were released.