Hospice criticised over €119,000 contract for top manager's relative

Auditors also highlight credit card spending on wine, restaurant, pub and theatre

Hospice management told auditors that over the period 2010-2014, credit card expenditure of €25,000 related to direct operational costs.

Hospice management told auditors that over the period 2010-2014, credit card expenditure of €25,000 related to direct operational costs.

 

The country’s biggest hospice, Our Lady’s in Harold’s Cross in Dublin, has been criticised over a €119,000 contract awarded to a company linked to a relative of a former senior manager.

HSE internal audits to be published today will also highlight credit card spending on hospitality and entertainment.

The HSE internal audit reports will say that there were family links between the former chief executive of the hospice Mo Flynn and a company which received €119,000 to provide HR training over a three-year period between 2010 and 2012.

The audit says that although management at the hospice maintain that written quotes from a number of suppliers were sought and that the former CEO absented herself from the procurement process for the contract, no evidence to support this was made available to the HSE.

Ms Flynn, now head of Rehab, argued that she had recused herself from the procurement process as soon as she was informed that one of the companies invited to tender was linked to her due to family connections.

“What is clear from the face of the [HSE audit] report are that verbal submissions by the hospice management were made to the effect that at the relevant time the former CEO had absented herself from the process,” her submission states. Credit card spending The HSE audit also highlights credit card spending of close to €35,000 over five years. It will say that documentation provided to auditors did not provide satisfactory detail to support some of the payments and therefore it was not possible to validate some expenditures.

In a statement, the hospice acknowledged the financial controls in place between 2006 and 2015 were “not sufficiently comprehensive”. “For that, the board and management offers an unreserved apology.”

Hospice management told auditors that over the period 2010-2014, credit card expenditure of €25,000 related to direct operational costs and the remaining €10,000 was spent on volunteer support and business entertainment.

In that period, €4,061 was spent on wine and €3,015 on restaurants.