Millions of taxpayer dollars are being wasted as the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) fails to pay bills on time, a leaked report on financial waste says.
The report, written in early 2008 and leaked to The Press, said the CDHB supply chain was "highly inefficient", many staff had "total disregard for expense", and a lack of financial controls meant suppliers could take financial advantage.
It said at least 40 per cent of invoices were not paid within 60 days and some suppliers had put the CDHB on "stop credit".
More than $1.2m was paid to more than 32 courier companies while significant savings could be made by negotiating with just one, the report said.
In the last financial year, the board overspent by $15m and was told to slash the same amount this year.
The report was written by supply-chain expert Brian Simpson, who was hired by the CDHB last year to advise on how to save at least $10 million.
Mr Simpson , who quit three months into the cost-cutting exercise, said it was possible for the CDHB to save up to $8m by paying its bills early.
"I have no axe to grind. I know they could save millions of dollars and I hate to see taxpayer money wasted."
CDHB business development unit manager Jock Muir said early payment of invoices to obtain prompt-payment discounts had to be offset by increased interest expenses.
Mr Muir said he was "very, very pleased" with the savings and efficiencies made over the past year.