Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It Seems More Of Your Money Has Gone Down The Plughole. Still Hard To See Value. When Will It Stop?

This appeared last week:

NEHTA books $74m loss

  • Fran Foo
  • Australian IT
  • November 05, 2013 4:57PM
THE National E-health Transition Authority has registered a $74 million loss for the year ending June 30 compared with a $91m surplus the previous year.
Consultants cost an additional $14m in 2013 or $73m in total, as opposed to $59m last year.
NEHTA paid around $7m less for contractors, from around $20m to $13m this year.
Salaries and on-costs decreased from $43m to $33m over the 12 months to June.
In its 2012-13 annual report released today, NEHTA attributed the loss to two factors:
"During the year, NEHTA received its 2012-13 contributions from its state and territory members ... member contributions of $33.43m were received in the prior year and were therefore brought to account in 2011-12 to be compliant with Australian accounting standards.
"NEHTA also decided to utilise cash reserves to fund activity throughout the financial year.
"These two factors have contributed to the 2012-13 operating deficit result," it said.
Last year NEHTA terminated the contract it awarded IBM to build the National Authentication Services for Health.
Compensation figures were not mentioned in the report but the cost to design and build NASH was around $5m in expenditure not yet incurred.
Key management personnel took home an extra $90k with the addition of Kate Ebrill and Les Schumer.
They joined Peter Fleming (CEO), David Bunker, Ray Grant, Christopher Hale, Andrew Howard, Bettina McMahon, Lisa Smith, Teri Snowdon, Mandy Varley and John Zelcer to book $3.6m compared with $3.5m.
Remuneration to directors David Gonski (also NEHTA chairman) and Lynda O'Grady increased marginally from around $131,000 to $135,000.
In August, it suffered a major blow when top clinical lead Mukesh Haikerwal and many members of his team left the organisation.
See full article here:
Here is the announcement from NEHTA.

NEHTA's Annual Report 2012-13 is now available

Created on Tuesday, 05 November 2013
NEHTA's Annual Report 2012-13 is now available and can be downloaded from NEHTA Annual Report 2012-13 (6.76 MB).
The National E-Health Transition Authority was established in 2005 by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to help transform Australia’s health system by building the foundations for a national eHealth infrastructure.  In 2010 the Commonwealth Government appointed NEHTA as the managing agent for the personally controlled electronic health record system (eHealth record system).
NEHTA's Annual and Financial Reports contain detailed information about its operations during the past financial year as well as an overview of its work programme.
Link is here:
It was interesting to see that  NEHTA said its focus for 2013-2014 will be on:
  • Infrastructure improvement: achieve improvements in national eHealth infrastructure by responding to lessons learned from early use and new priorities, so that the national eHealth infrastructure is useful, safe, usable, trusted and well integrated.
  • Priority solutions: coordinate the progress of priority eHealth solutions and processes, including electronic medication management, ePathology and continuity of care.
  • ·      NEHTA capability: Evolve and refine NEHTA’s internal capabilities to ensure NEHTA is effective and responsive in the delivery of value to the health sector.
  • Adoption, change and meaningful use: work towards creating a critical mass of eHealth users who are connected and meaningfully embedding NEHTA foundations, solutions and the eHealth records system into healthcare.
  • Support and assurance: provide ongoing support for delivery and assure the clinical safety, usability, benefits, security and privacy of national eHealth infrastructure and solutions.
And that from then on they would be aligning with the refreshed e-Health Strategy which recommended in 2008 that they be fundamentally re-vamped. I wonder will Deloittes have changed their mind?
It’s also good to see NEHTA recognises after all this time - in Point 3 - that they could maybe a bit more responsive to the health sector.
Other points I noticed were:
1. The 2 paid directors are doing pretty well for attending eight meetings and reading the board papers ($135,000) - when can you get on a gravy train like that?
2. The MMR Global story is apparently of no worry. Here are the comments on this and the IBM NASH saga.
- In February 2013, NEHTA was provided with a press release in which MMRGlobal (MMR) asserted on behalf of its subsidiary MyMedicalRecords that NEHTA and the Australian Government appeared to be infringing two of MMR’s Australian patents and other intellectual property. At that time, NEHTA had not received any contact from MMR asserting an infringement and no claim of patent infringement has been pursued by MMR against NEHTA since the press release was issued in February 2013.
As a result of the assertions made in the press release, NEHTA undertook a thorough investigation of MMR’s Australian patents, which investigation revealed that there has been and is no infringement of MMR’s Australian patents by NEHTA. That has been communicated to MMR’s lawyers both in the United States and Australia by NEHTA’s solicitors.
At this time, the directors do not expect there to be any significant impact on the Group’s stated financial position as set out in the financial statements read with the associated explanatory notes, as a result of MMR’s assertions.
- On 4 July, 2012, NEHTA entered into discussions with IBM regarding termination of the Design & Build Contract held between NEHTA and IBM, and the Operate Contract held between IBM and E-Health Authentication Services Pty. Limited, pertaining to the National Authentication Services for Health (NASH) project. The parties engaged in confidential and without prejudice discussions regarding that matter and the matter was resolved in December 2012.
3. The State contributed funding seems to be dropping out dramatically so what happens next seems to be in doubt.
4. Approved funding runs out in less than 8 months’ time. I wonder what the planned review will think about the future - they are not specifically mentioned in the Terms of Reference.
5. The total absence of e-Health expertise and current front line clinical representation on the Board.
All in all, interesting times for NEHTA.


Anonymous said...

A Gonski sinecure for sure, and one of many in his Directorship portfolio.

Many are the perks when you are a pillar of Australia's establishment and can finagle the Chairmanship of Australia's Future Fund with Machiavellian finesse.

Don't expect any bruising or damning reviews of NEHTA while Gonski and his most networked Business representative reputation are pulling the strings behind the scenes.

Anonymous said...

"The total absence of e-Health expertise and current front line clinical representation on the Board"

Not just the board but the workforce as well. With Mitchell gone as well, someone needs to turn the lights out.

But don't worry, the nehta chief everything officer and his 'faceless men' can be all things to all people with the right talking points!

Anonymous said...

I hope Sue Boyce keeps up the pressure on the personal use of hire cars at NEHTA expense. It would be interesting to see if action has been taken against any employee (or ex-employee) on this, and if any expenses for this have been reimbursed.

Anonymous said...

I hope Sue Boyce keeps up the pressure on hire cars. If what I hear is correct, rorting of this has been at almost the highest level.
It would be great to know what action has been taken against the (ex?) employee, and if the rorted expenses have been reimbursed to NEHTA.
After all, every penny should count