The transition into a new digital era brings with it an increasing number of cyber risks. Cyber-attacks are on the rise and the HSE was among a number of institutions targeted earlier this year. Four months on and it’s still experiencing the digital repercussions as it’s forced to delay the launch of its €82mn computerised procurement system to 2025.
The HSE’s Integrated Finance and Procurement System was set to streamline its processes and enhance operational efficiency, but it looks like it will have to remain patient for its release. That said, the HSE is still targeting 80% of its procurement to be covered under a single platform before the digital programme’s launch, an improvement on its 2018 statistic of under a quarter of its procurement being non-compliant.
Digital procurement programme jolted by cyber-attacks and pandemic disruptions
This isn’t the first obstacle thrown at the HSE’s new digital procurement system. Like almost everything, delays were caused by the pandemic resulting in the initial plan being redrawn. According to the HSE, the project was halfway through being replanned when Covid-19 jolted the system’s launch once again.
And then, of course, came May 2021’s ransomware attack that the company claims “severely impacted communications, access to systems and to online collaboration tools, and access to key stakeholders and governance members who were involved in critical clinical and business continuity activity.”
HSE assures it’s committed to resolving non-compliant procurement
Ray Mitchell, the HSE’s director of parliamentary affairs, recognised the institution’s inability to evaluate the scale of its non-compliant procurement as a result of its dependency on “multiple legacy systems”.
Over 60% of the executive’s expenditure for transitions over €25,000 in 2020 was non-compliant.
“The board of the HSE is committed to resolving the systemic issue of non-compliant procurement across the HSE and the wider health service,” it assured, eager to downplay the issue and resolve it as quickly as possible.