‘No hidden agenda’ over lack of Hertfordshire NHS expenditure reports

HEALTH chiefs have insisted there is “no hidden agenda” over a failure to report details of East and North Herts NHS Trust’s expenditure over �25,000 this year.

In line with Government policy, the trust is required to publish expenditure data on individual items and services in excess of �25,000.

The data is published monthly in arrears, starting with April 2010.

But no such figures have appeared on the trust’s website this year, with the last entry listed in December 2010.

The website also features board of directors’ expenses, which are published quarterly, with a new entry expected imminently after the previous instalment was posted for October to December last year.

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Despite being behind with the reporting Peter Gibson, the trust’s associate director for public affairs, said everything was above board and that there was no change in the way expenditure details were published.

He told the WHT: “There is no change in policy; we do it in the spirit of openness and will continue to do so.

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“This information is provided routinely through from the trust’s finance team and will be posted as and when it arrives.”

He added: “There is no hidden agenda here.”

But despite the assurance the trust was attacked for failing to provide more timely updates.

Emma Boon, campaign director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The trust’s finance team should endeavour to report spending promptly.

“Taxpayers need to know where their money is being spent, so that they can hold the NHS to account.

“It’s particularly important that local taxpayers can access this information at the moment, when decisions are being made about where very necessary spending cuts will fall.”

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