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Inquiry into Waikato DHB's procurement of services

Auditor-General’s report, Inquiry into Waikato District Health Board’s procurement of services from HealthTap

The Auditor-General’s report Inquiry into Waikato District Health Board’s procurement of services from HealthTap was presented to the House of Representatives today.

This report outlines the findings of our inquiry into the decision of Waikato District Health Board (Waikato DHB), in 2015, to enter into a contract with the United States-based company HealthTap Inc (HealthTap) to provide “virtual care” services.

Our decision to inquire into the procurement of the HealthTap platform was prompted by concerns about the procurement identified as part of our annual audit of Waikato DHB for 2016/17. Those concerns included the lack of an open market procurement process, compliance with the Government Rules of Sourcing (the Rules), and Waikato DHB’s inability to demonstrate value for money.

The work we have done during our inquiry shows that all of these concerns were justified and that, overall, the procurement process Waikato DHB carried out fell well below the standards expected of a public organisation. The failure in the procurement process meant that Waikato DHB could not prove that it obtained the best value from public money.

The events described in this report are now in many ways historical. However, there are important lessons about a good procurement process that can be learned and applied to other procurements in the public sector – in particular, when seeking to be innovative. We encourage all public sector organisations to read our report and consider whether our findings can be used to improve their own procurement practices.

This report is also available as an epub and one-page summary.


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