BDA welcome Public Accounts Committee inquiry into failed fines regime
News follows an investigation from the National Audit Office which found 30 per cent of healthcare fines issued since 2014 – 1.7 million notices, with a cash value of £188 million – were withdrawn because a valid exemption was confirmed to be in place following a challenge. Outsourcing giant Capita is used for some of the fines and debt collection for dental treatments.
The Public Accounts Committee is the single most powerful of Westminster’s committees, tasked with scrutinising government expenditure. It has exposed some of the worst fiascos in the history of public sector contracts including the NHS National Programme for IT and escalating decommissioning costs of the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site. They have also recently quizzed the boss of Google over the company’s controversial tax arrangements.
In the 2010-15 Parliament, the Committee held 276 evidence sessions and offered 1,338 recommendations to government departments, 88 per cent of which were accepted.
Speaking at the time of the NAO report’s publication, Meg Hillier MP, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said, “The NHS must take urgent steps if it is to avoid causing unnecessary distress to patients tripped up by an overly complex system, who end up facing large penalty charges.