We must safeguard and properly account for our fixed assets. NFR 6 Fixed Assets and Capital Accounting ensures we acquire, safeguard, dispose of and account for HSE fixed assets correctly.
The Capital Projects Manual and Approvals Protocol defines the actions necessary to deliver capital projects in line with the Public Spending Code. It acts as a toolkit to deliver capital projects in the Capital Plan. It sets out protocols for the appraisal, initiation, management and administration of all capital projects.
The HSE Property Protocol sets out the procedure to be followed when the HSE:
- acquires or disposes of any interest in property; or
- enters into any arrangement which diminishes or alters its interest in its property
NFR 7 ICT Funding and Approval sets out reporting requirements in relation to ICT (Information and Communications Technology) expenditure.
Approval for capital projects
Each capital project must be approved in accordance with the Capital Projects Manual and Approvals Protocol. It sets out the specific criteria and requirements regarding approval and management of capital projects within the specified value bands.
Approval for property transactions
The approval levels which apply to property transactions:
- HSE Board approval is required for Category 1 Transactions. These are transactions in excess of €2 million exclusive of VAT and any service charge
- The National Director of Commercial and Support Services may approve Category 2 transactions with the delegated authority of the Chief Executive Officer. These are transactions, equal to or less than €2 million exclusive of VAT and any service charge
NFR 6 Fixed Assets and Capital Accounting
Fixed assets definition
Fixed assets are defined as non-consumable items, with a useful life of one year or more, which are used in normal HSE operations and are not for resale.
Fixed assets include:
- motor vehicles
- work in progress
ICT equipment is only treated as an asset if the value of the equipment is over €2,000. Other equipment is only treated as an asset if the value is over €7,000.
Fixed assets can include assets that are purchased, donated or transferred.
Fixed asset additions
Approved invoices for the purchase of fixed assets must be accompanied by a FAS-1: fixed asset addition form. The form must contain all required information to facilitate the asset being recorded in the local asset register and financial systems.
This form must be signed off and approved in the purchasing location. It should be forwarded to the relevant HSE officer in the region with responsibility for fixed assets.
Record the asset in the Fixed Asset Register no later than the month end, following the month in which the expenditure is incurred.
Fixed asset disposals
You must get prior written authorisation from the CHO Head of Service or hospital network manager or equivalent grade for equipment to be:
- given away
- disposed of
You must complete a FAS-2 fixed asset disposal form to manage the disposal through the relevant Fixed Asset section in the HSE area. This applies whether or not the equipment has a fixed asset tag.
The form is also required to facilitate the update of the fixed asset data on the local financial systems. Each department is responsible for the continued security of items until they have been removed for disposal.
Lost or stolen equipment
If equipment is stolen, you must inform your line manager immediately.
Tagging and fixed asset registers
A HSE fixed asset tag number is assigned to all HSE assets meeting the fixed asset definition. Asset tags are assigned a unique identification number. The assigned number follows the asset throughout its life in the HSE fixed asset system.
All HSE assets meeting the fixed asset definition must be tracked. This means that each area must maintain a fixed asset register of all land, buildings, equipment or motor vehicles (which meet the value limits set out above). This includes fixed assets which are donated, transferred or purchased.
The fixed asset register must include:
- asset identification and description
- asset location
- date of acquisition
- date of first use (if new, and other than date of acquisition)
- method of acquisition
- funding type - capital or revenue
- cost (including installation)
- cumulative depreciation charged (including buildings since date of acquisition)
- estimated useful life
- date of disposal
- disposal method
- residual value at date of disposal
- disposal costs (if any)
HSE employees are responsible for safeguarding HSE property and equipment. This includes proper care, reasonable safeguards to prevent loss, damage and theft of assets.
Line manager responsibilities
Managers are responsible for ensuring forms relating to fixed assets are signed off and approved by their purchasing location. The forms must be forwarded to the relevant HSE officer responsible for fixed assets in the region.
Line managers must ensure the fixed asset is recorded on the asset register and forwarded to local finance for recording. This must be done no later than the month end following the month of purchase.
Line managers must ensure routine inspections are carried out on high risk assets critical to HSE performance. These are assets which are essential to the running of the service.
NFR 7 ICT funding and approval
Reporting requirements in relation to ICT expenditure are set out in DPER Circular 14/2021 Arrangements for Oversight of Digital and ICT Related Initiatives in the Civil and Public Service.
DPER has a central oversight role in relation to digital and ICT initiatives. Digital and ICT initiatives must be appropriately aligned with relevant government policies and the strategies that support them. A peer review process applies to initiatives of significant scale, risk and/or strategic importance.
New digital and ICT initiatives must be submitted to DPER for evaluation through the DGOU (Digital Government Oversight Unit).
Specific approval must be sought for:
- new digital and ICT-related initiatives which may give rise to expenditure in excess of €25,000, excluding VAT and internal staff costs
- new initiatives which propose not to follow a current strategy or policy of government or DPER, irrespective of the anticipated level of expenditure. This includes proposals not using designated initiatives or infrastructures, centralised shared or managed services, data sharing enablers, and procurement toolkits or frameworks
- significant variation to the scope, schedule, deliverables, cost or quality since an original approval was conveyed by DPER. In this scenario, any follow-on request for specific approval must explain the basis for the variation and all remedial action(s) proposed
- specific project categories notified by DPER to the nominated DGOU Liaison Officer
Specific approval is not required for:
- existing projects which were approved by DPER when new; or
- recurring, annual, non-project business as usual (BAU) expenditure required to maintain essential functions and existing services of the organisation
Within the HSE the process for ICT project approval involves:
- proposal development submitted to OoCIO for approval
- proposal authorisation submitted to OoCIO, DoH (where required), DPER peer review (where required) and finally to DGOU
- if full approval is granted by DGOU, procurement can commence and contracts can be signed to spend the capital amount indicated in the business case and further DGOU approval is not required
- if approval in principle is granted by DGOU, the procurement process can commence. However, OoCIO and DGOU full approval must be granted prior to contracts being signed
The approval process can take 1-5 years for large projects. Small projects can take 6 months to 2 years.