Financial controls and oversight of Pieta House mental health charity unsatisfactory, HSE audit says

Checks and monitoring by mental health charity Pieta House were unsatisfactory, an HSE audit found.

The audit findings relate to the position at the time of the field audit work carried out in 2018.

There was no documented compensation policy, and the board minutes did not record any discussion or approval of the salary increases granted to the then CEO and other senior executives in 2017.

There was no formal licensing system for Darkness into Light marches or other fundraising events.

The employment contract and job description of the founder and former CEO as Ambassador was not in her personal file and was not available for internal HSE audit.

The Ambassador reported directly to the Board of Directors and the management of Pieta House was not fully informed of the Ambassador’s activities.

There was no evidence of a formal project plan for Pieta House Inc. in New York, and not all reports received by the Pieta House Ireland board of directors on its progress were available to the team. audit.

Pieta House’s statutory external audit was carried out by its external accountants who had been in place since its inception in 2006.

It found inadequate segregation of duties, receiving, recording and reconciliation controls were identified with respect to donations, fundraising and other income – € 26.1 million between 2014 and 2017 .

It has 15 bank accounts for a total balance of € 4.6 million as of December 31, 2017.

There was no signature on CEO statements or any other credit card statement proving that the expenses were authorized and approved. There was no evidence of the board’s decision to increase the credit limit on credit cards from € 5,000 to € 15,000.

There is no evidence that the petty cash expenditures were approved and verified.

He did not have a foreign travel policy. Proof of prior approval of overseas travel and complete financial and travel records were not provided.

One third of the sampled invoices were processed without a PO number, 48pc had no proof of approval for payment, and an invoice of € 38,000 did not have CEO approval as required for larger invoices to 10,000 €.

In 2017, he had a total income of 10.9 million euros through various state grants and fundraisers.

There was no evidence of approval of therapists’ bills and a number of discrepancies were identified between the appointment sheets and the bills submitted for payment.

Pieta House has not been compensated on employee car insurance policies. Expense reports were not always fully completed or signed by claimants and were not approved by the CEO as required by Pieta House’s expense policy.

An adviser was appointed before Pieta House obtained permission from Garda.

The personnel files contained loose sheets and contained limited information.

In correspondence with the HSE audit team dated June 26, 2020, the Chairman of the Board highlighted the changes that took place in Pieta House after 2018.

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