Two contracts awarded by a health board have been referred to a fraud watchdog in the wake of a critical audit report.
NHS Counter Fraud Wales is to examine two contracts awarded by Cardiff and Wales University Health Board, following concerns that the board failed to comply with its own procurement requirements.
Board chair Maria Battle has already apologised for what she described as "potentially unlawful" contracts for human resource services that were "deeply disturbing".
An independent report into the board’s activities was critical of "numerous and significant failings". It highlighted the failure to comply with procurement regulations when awarding consultancy contracts to RKC Associates Ltd in November 2014, June 2015 and February 2016.
The health board paid the company £290,000 for human resources services over 17 months. Its then owner Raj Chana was then appointed as the board’s HR director when it failed to fill the job after it was advertised.
While the board’s chair has already apologised for its failings, the issue raises major questions over what measures were in place to prevent such wrongdoing.
Aziz Rahman, founder of Rahman Ravelli, said: “Any organisation, regardless of its size or line of business, has to make sure its compliance measures are well thought out, fit for purpose and properly implemented.
“There can be no excuse for an organisation such as a health board failing to achieve this. The outcome is a clear indicator of what can happen when compliance in a company or organisation is poor.’’
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