A HSE internal audit for NAS for north Leinster found “significant weaknesses” in the control procedures surrounding payroll claim forms submitted to its national ambulance base in respect of hours worked, overtime and subsistence claimed, and the use of fuel cards.
In February 2016, the NAS vehicle register listed 182 registered vehicles for the north Leinster area.
However, an examination of the fuel card listing provided to the audit showed 26 NAS vehicles assigned a fuel card had not been recorded on the NAS vehicle register.
The audit selected a sample of nine vehicles using the HSE fuel card which were not listed on the register: Two Ford Transits, two Ford Focus, a Toyota Aygo, a Ford SMax, a Peugeot 5008, a Vauxhall Vivaro, and a Renault Clio.
The NAS fleet logistic and estates manager informed auditors that an investigation would be undertaken to identify these vehicles.
However, no response had been received at the time of the audit’s completion.
A June 2015 Fuelplus invoice recorded one vehicle purchasing fuel 27 times. The mileage figure was not recorded for any of these transactions. The audit found the invoices were paid without verifying or approving all fuel transactions.
The audit was also unable to verify if the subsistence rates claimed by paramedics were correct, as records were destroyed after a month of retention. The claim forms sampled were not signed as certified, authorised, or approved.
The chief ambulance officer in north Leinster accepted the contents and recommendations of the report.