Dáil watchdog to begin probe into HSE waste scandal

The Dáil's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will today begin its investigation into the latest waste scandal in the health service.

An internal HSE audit found money that was intended for a training programme was spent on foreign travel, a staff party and home broadband.

The internal audit outlines a catalogue of waste of the money intended for the SKILL training programme, and breaches of corporate governance.

The Taoiseach told the Dáil yesterday that some of the matters had been referred to the Garda Síochana.

Among the issues highlighted were how money that should have been spent on training was instead used to pay for home broadband, mobile phones, laptops, gifts, a staff retirement party and foreign travel.

As part of the audit, it was examined how €2.5m was transferred into an account called SIPTU, though the union insists it had no knowledge of the account.

But the union has lodged €348,000 with a commissioner for oaths to cover any potential reimbursement of controversial expenses.

This morning the taxpayers' watchdog the PAC will begin its examinations of the audit.

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