Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe has acknowledged that “something went very wrong” with the tendering process for the National Children’s Hospital.
“I’m being very clear, something went wrong here. There are learnings that we will have to address in the future,” he told RTE’s Morning Ireland.
“I acknowledge my role in that, we will learn in the future.”
Mr Donohoe defended the Minister for Health Simon Harris, saying that he would have expected him to quantify the scale of the problem before being asked to address it.
“There is a big issue here that we will fix.”
He said that if one looked at the process, especially the latter part of it, “things went wrong, we should have been able to handle it. I accept my responsibility.”
Mr Donohoe said that as Finance Minister he has to put his hands up when something goes wrong.
Projects will be examined to ensure that if a particular bid is “abnormally low” there will be a thorough examination of the procurement process.
The Minister said he had full confidence in the board of the hospital and was confident that the group of people in place “will see this job out.”
Any measures that can cut costs will be examined, he added. But he was adamant that “no major projects will be delayed.”