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HSE failings in management of Console contract must be acknowledged – Cullinane

15 July, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

David Cullinane, Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee, said today that the HSE cannot accept the internal audit report on Console on one hand, and then ignore the implications it has for HSE procedures on the other. 

Deputy Cullinane said:

"The internal audit report into Console said that its 60 findings all carried the highest risk possible and that many had national implications for the HSE. Despite this, the Director General of the HSE refused today in the Public Accounts Committee to acknowledge the seriousness of the issue, opting instead to treat it as a learning exercise to fine-tune current managerial systems, practices and procedures.

“This is unacceptable. The internal audit report itself is clear that there are systemic issues for the HSE. This cannot be ignored or waved away.

“Tony O'Brien told the Committee that the HSE had no powers over the governance of Console and could not be held for the management of Console, and while this may be technically correct it is a rhetorical sleight-of-hand to be honest.

“The issue is not the management or governance structures of Console but the management of the service agreement the HSE had with Console.

“And with regard to the oversight, checks and balances on that service agreement, the audit report flagged concerns that speak to systemic issues with the HSE's own governance and oversight structures.

“The HSE has a public budget that dwarfs many multinationals. This is all public money and with that in mind we need to take seriously a report that suggests that fine-tuning might not be enough to ensure an issue like Console does not happen again, or is at the very least flagged and dealt with before it becomes a bigger problem."

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