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DPER officials and the Minister must explain gross mismanagement of National Children’s Hospital spending and procurement – Jonathan O’Brien TD

4 February, 2019 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin Junior Finance Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien TD has called on the Minister of Public Expenditure and Reform to reveal the full extent of his department’s knowledge of the escalating costs of the National Children’s Hospital.

Speaking this morning, the Cork North-Central TD said:

“Minister Donohoe has stated that he only became aware of the cost overruns at the National Children’s Hospital in November of 2018. The Minister, his department and officials need to explain the full extent of their knowledge of the escalating cost, and how information was escalated at the department.

“At the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday I first raised the issue of Paul Quinn and his presence on both the Development and both the Finance and Procurement Sub-committees of the hospital. Mr Quinn would have been intimately aware of the overruns and the escalations when and where they happened.

"As the Chief Procurement Officer within Minister Donohoe’s Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, it is difficult to believe that 5 months elapsed between this information becoming clear to Mr Quinn and it being conveyed to the Minister.

“If this is the case, officials from the Department must explain how such poor channels of communication were allowed to prevail to the detriment of the public interest and taxpayers’ money.

“For this reason I have again asked the Secretary General of DPER and Mr Quinn to come before the Public Accounts Committee.”

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