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PAC documents show Minister Harris ‘asleep at the wheel’ – Cullinane

14 February, 2019 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD and member of the Public Accounts Committee David Cullinane has lambasted the Minister for Health Simon Harris and his office over the overspend on the National Children’s Hospital, saying that the Department’s hands-off approach to the largest public health project in the State has resulted in an overrun of hundreds of millions.

Deputy Cullinane said:

“The Mazars Report given to the Public Accounts Committee states that there was a 57% increase in costs as soon as the NCH project started construction.

“That is a damning indictment of the procedures put in place by the Department of Health with regard to the design team and the Implementation Board.

“Where was Minister Harris and his office in all of this?

“We heard from the C&AG last week that the Department as paymasters had ultimate responsibility for this project.

“There is no point the Minister and his department saying they appointed a board for all of that so it’s the Board’s mess and that ‘heads will roll’.

“That simply doesn’t wash.

“The buck stops with the Minister. He needs to take responsibility for his actions.

“Next week, Sinn Féin will move a motion of no confidence in Minister Harris, one entirely justified by the documents that have come to light in recent days.

“It is up to Fianna Fáil to do the right thing and support this motion as we will not see any improvement while Harris is at the helm.” 

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