Auditors of National Children’s Hospital have a conflict of interest

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) should be removed as the team investigating the cost overruns at the National Children’s Hospital as they have a conflict of interest and cannot conduct an objective investigation given their long-standing relationship with BAM, the major contractor for the construction of the hospital. They are also regularly paid as consultants for the HSE.

It is totally unacceptable for PWC to be appointed as the body to investigate the cost overruns at the National Children’s’ Hospital. The government is paying out nearly half a million euro to PWC to find out why there was a cost overrun at the National Children’s Hospital. PWC has been the recipient of major contracts from both the HSE and the construction company involved, BAM.

Health Minister Simon Harris recently awarded PWC a €1.8m contract to examine the restructuring of the HSE.

This is despite the fact that a previous PWC report on medical cards was criticised by the Comptroller and Auditor General as faulty. That particular report had claimed that by culling ‘ineligible beneficiaries’ from the medical card system, savings of between €65m and €210m could be made.

PWC has been picking up easy money from BAM, the main construction company involved in building the National Children’s’ Hospital. For the past nine years, it has earned €4m a year as its auditors.

By pure coincidence, PWC was also the firm that recommended that water charges be introduced. While proposing new taxes on the wider population, PWC was simultaneously the main ‘tax planner’ to global companies who were using Ireland as a tax dodging haven. PWC should be removed as investigators into cost overruns at the National Children’s Hospital.

Richard Boyd Barrett

People before Profit TD

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