Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides has turned up the heat on the Health Insurance Organisation, reporting the entity to the attorney-general for its alleged failure to provide information he requested.
In a letter addressed to the attorney-general, Michaelides pointed out that a public entity’s non-compliance with information requested by the Audit Office constitutes a criminal offence.
Earlier, on October 6, Michaelides had written to the HIO with a final warning that they needed to provide the information within 15 days at the latest – by October 21.
The information sought from the HIO was initially requested months ago. It relates to a contract concluded between the HIO and the German Oncology Centre in Limassol.
That contract provides for the oncology centre’s integration in the national health scheme. The Audit Office wants details.
The HIO runs the national health scheme, or Gesy.
Michaelides’ letter to the attorney-general – and copied to the health minister – was sent last Friday, October 22, at 12.45pm.
On the same day, at 2pm, the HIO dispatched by courier the requested information to the Audit Office, with the documents dated October 21 – that is, ostensibly complying with Michaelides’ deadline.
However, the HIO documents were copied to the attorney-general’s attention as well.
This was strange, said Audit Office spokesman Marios Petrides, because if indeed the HIO had sent the documents on the date indicated (October 21) it would have no reason to cite the attorney-general among the recipients.
“For six months they [the HIO] did not answer us, and then they get back to us on the very day that our letter went out to the attorney-general,” Petrides said.