Children’s hospital board member to face PAC

Children’s hospital board member to face PAC

The Government’s public representative on the children’s hospital board is set to attend a meeting with TDs today, a month after he didn’t appear at an earlier meeting.

The Department of Public Expenditure’s chief procurement officer Paul Quinn will discuss the issue with the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee today after weeks of delays. At the start of this year it emerged that the children’s hospital spending levels are surging towards €2bn.

Repeated questions have surrounded when Mr Quinn, who sits on the national paediatric hospital development board, first became aware of the spending problems. This is because, as a public representative on the board, he was obliged to inform his department and as a consequence the Government when this occurred.

Opposition politicians have repeatedly raised questions over the Government’s timeline of when it was told of the project problems, saying Mr Quinn holds the key to clarifying the situation.

However, despite a request to attend a PAC meeting on the issue last month, Department of Public Expenditure secretary general Robert Watt refused to bring him, while an updated April 18 meeting was delayed until today by the board.

At the time of the April 18 delay, the national paediatric hospital development board wrote to the PAC to say the meeting needed to be pushed back until mid-May because the PwC report had yet to be published at that stage. The PAC meeting will also hear from the new national paediatric hospital development board chair Fred Barry, who will say the national children’s hospital will be finished by 2023.

In his opening statement, Department of Health secretary general Jim Breslin will also tell the PAC this morning that there will be serious concerns about a lack of “corporate knowledge” if senior officials leave their roles over the costs crisis.

The PAC meeting will also be given an update from the department on the latest costs of the project, while in a separate document officials have moved to assure TDs there was no conflict of interest in PwC examining the spending over-run, despite PwC being involved in the project.

More on this topic

BAM seeks €12m extra costs for hospital workBAM seeks €12m extra costs for hospital work

Review conflict of interest - Children’s hospital cost overrunReview conflict of interest - Children’s hospital cost overrun

Paul Quinn tells PAC he would have been in breach of the law if he told Minister of hospital overspendPaul Quinn tells PAC he would have been in breach of the law if he told Minister of hospital overspend

HSE accused of 'making eejits' of Public Accounts Committee over children's hospitalHSE accused of 'making eejits' of Public Accounts Committee over children's hospital


More in this Section

Man (50s) charged over gun seizureMan (50s) charged over gun seizure

Agriculture Minister asks for end to blockades in open letter to protesting beef farmersAgriculture Minister asks for end to blockades in open letter to protesting beef farmers

People ‘living for months in hostels before being recognised as homeless’, Belfast committee toldPeople ‘living for months in hostels before being recognised as homeless’, Belfast committee told

TDs set to take up Maria Bailey's former committee chair rolesTDs set to take up Maria Bailey's former committee chair roles


Lifestyle

Make-up artist Terry Barber reveals the secret to pulling off the bold lip look.This is how to make black lipstick work in real life, according to a catwalk make-up pro

Off to the Japan? After a trip to Tokyo, Ella Walker outlines the best things to eat between matches.These are the dishes to try if you’re going to Tokyo for the Rugby World Cup

It still surprises me as I am achingly private and do not enjoy being at the centre of attention.This Much I Know: Actor Aislin McGuckin

Bride Geraldine O’Donovan felt as wonderful as she looked on her big day — knowing she was supporting a cause close to her heart as she donned her wedding gown.Wedding on the Week: Supporting a cause close to their hearts

More From The Irish Examiner