PAC Meeting | May 28, 2015
Chairman [John McGuinness TD]: Item 3A.5 is correspondence, dated 25 May 2015, from the HSE and is a follow-up to our meeting on 23 April 2015, which is to be noted and published. This issue relates to the procurement of investigators and the use of former staff of the health services. We are due to consider a report on this shortly. Has that report been circulated?
Clerk to the Committee: It has, yes.
Chairman: Can we determine that it is the final draft?
Deputy John Deasy: It is a short report but it is very strong. The work the clerk has put into this is excellent. The kernel of it boils down to chapter two and the recommendations at the end. What we have discovered is that when it comes to individuals it is not possible to put a specific ban on former employees of the HSE.
However, the step that needs to be taken is that authority to appoint investigators should be taken away from the HSE. That should be put to one side. That is effectively where we have gone with this.
Therefore, even though one cannot ban former employees specifically on a personal basis, taking these investigations away from the HSE, particularly the ones that are extremely sensitive and actually involve potential conflict of interest, is probably the appropriate step. I think that is what the Minister should consider.
I have spoken to the Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch. She is looking at this entire area, including the idea of putting panels together. The work of her office is working in tandem with the report that we have put together. There is an understanding that this area needs to be dealt with once and for all.
Chairman: In line with that report, I wish to raise an issue that was brought to my attention by way of correspondence, although I do not have it with me. An investigation took place concerning Kilkenny.
When the report arising from that investigation was sought, it was not released and neither were the details of the procurement process. Before finalising the report, we might ask that question of the HSE and determine the details surrounding it.
Deputy John Deasy: What is the next step with regard to that report? Will we issue the report on a certain date?
Chairman: We can do the final report in the week after next when we are back. We will publish it then.