(22/08/11) A two year long audit of the Cork University Hospital (CUH) Foundation found the charity paid €365,000 for an un-tendered contract leaving donor-specific projects unfunded, the Irish Examiner revealed.

According to the audit carried out by the HSE, whilst the charity received €288,000 in ‘ring-fenced’ donated funding; only €126,000 of this was set aside for the specified projects, leaving a short fall of €162,000. This significant discrepancy, the report concluded ‘needed to be addressed urgently to ensure the conditions attached to the donations already received can be complied with.’

HSE South regional director of operations Pat Healy, stated in response that the figure of €162,000 is a ‘potential funding shortfall only as the foundation has met all commitments as and when they arise.’

Despite findings of poor use of finances, the audit concluded that there was ‘no evidence’ of fraudulent activity among its founders.

The €365,000 payment for the single non-tendered contract breached HSE national financial regulations which state that any project exceeding €50,000, and paid for through public money must be tendered.

In order to address the poor regulation of funding and bad governance that gives rise to such practice, the auditors advised the charity to ‘adopt a charitable fund policy which will improve controls over the completeness and accuracy of income and also the appropriateness of expenditure, including value for money.’

Source: Irish Examiner.