Coast DHB under intensive monitoring

By Laura Mills

The Auditor General says the West Coast District Health Board is on intensive monitoring, noting the impact of staff changes.
The budget was $114.6 million last year, rising to $116 million this year.
As of March 1, 2014, 10 DHBs were on standard monitoring and 10 were being monitored more closely; the West Coast DHB was put on intensive monitoring.
“We changed the grade for the West Coast DHB’s financial information systems and controls from ‘good’ in 2011-12 to ‘needs improvement’ in 2012-13,” the report said.
“Internal controls and processes in the main financial systems had not been consistently applied during the year because of several staff changes within the financial team and because resources were stretched.”
The Coast board also reported on the results of specific disparities between Maori and non-Maori performance and “how disparities are changing over time”.
Collectively, DHBs spend about $5.7 billion a year on services from third parties, such as primary health organisations and other non-governmental organisations. The auditors found that boards had limited controls over the performance information reported to them by third parties. For example, DHBs did not check the reported information to ensure that it was reliable.
They also found most DHBs still need to improve their information technology security (such as password controls) and that many did not have business continuity and disaster recovery plans.