Home > Uncategorized > EXTREME CAPITALIST FREE-MARKET (Neo-Liberal) Governance Scheme – HOW TO ENSURE THAT GOVERNMENT AND SENIOR ADMINISTRATORS CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING

EXTREME CAPITALIST FREE-MARKET (Neo-Liberal) Governance Scheme – HOW TO ENSURE THAT GOVERNMENT AND SENIOR ADMINISTRATORS CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING

General Plan Designed to Allow Ministers and Governments to Evade Responsibility for Citizens’ Well-Being https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

1)Set Up  Agency Separate from Government(Eg HSE) To Deliver “Service” to “Customers” on capitalist market model (Redress for aggrieved customers only through courts without legal aid)

(Irish Times 2014 The head of the Health Service Executive has said the way it was established a decade ago was “like a high speed car crash”.He said this meant the “high-speed amalgamation of the health boards in 2004, which resulted in the HSE when it was established to replace them having a very difficult initial period”.)

1a)   Contract out key functions to private companies at home and abroad to achieve efficiencies (expenditure cuts)! and put service (eg examining smears on slides) “at arms length” from Agency such as HSE. HSE not Responsible!!!

1a’)  State funds huge infrastructural investment (eg broadband) but private companies make the profit on the service!!!

1b) Write into legal contract with private companies that, in return for the business, the company will indemnify the state agency against law suits and that the company will be allowed to demand confidentiality clauses from aggrieved “customers” seeking redress in return for compensation. BUT Now INSTEAD, foreign companies are requiring Irish state indemnity against law suits to continue service!!!

1 c) Procedures of Companies abroad(EG Screening Companies) not subject to Irish Law (Irish Government and HSE not Responsible for their activities)-purely commercial relationship

1(d) US  Screening Companies contract out screening of slides from Irish women to sub-contractors all over the world. US companies can blame sub-contractors for “mistakes”. Irish government have even less control of implementation of “quality assurance” standards!

2)Head of State Agency (EG HSE or Garda Management)) not required to report on “operational matters” to Minister

3) Induction Programme Tells  recruits to new Agency not to report failures to Head of Agency in writing.  Ministers , Civil Servants, Agency Heads, must always deny informing the responsible minister verbally unless Taoiseach and Responsible Minister have given permission to do so in advance.

3a) Where not already in place introduce this practice into relevant Government         Department

4) When scandal breaks Minister says s/he doesn’t know and is “shocked”.

5) Head of Agency says s/he didnt know

6) Minister and Agency Head cannot be expected to resign because they didn’t know and are now required to “clear up the mess”.

7)They will both set up enquiries and investigations. Terms of reference will protect government and agency head from blame. (Scally was precluded from blaming any person for the Cervical Check scandal) .Any questioning of the over-all governance system must also be precluded by terms of reference.

7(a) If necessary choose a scape-goat outside of government  to blame

8) Minister and head of agency are both “bloody raging” and “mad as hell”

9) Head of Government, Minister and Head of Agency will now ride to rescue of victims on a White Horse

10)  “Didn’t Know” claims can be used to avoid consequences of adverse decisions of Regulators

10) It all happens again 2 years later and points 3 to 9 above resume!

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Limerick University Hospital Contract Given to Firm Which Built Faulty Schools

RTE NEWS: The hospital has confirmed that the company, which built more than 40 schools where serious structural defects have been uncovered, was awarded a contract worth €14m for the project  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

The Minister for Health has said he has no role in the awarding of individual contracts by the HSE.

Ms Hegarty, who is Assistant Professor at UCD’s School of Architecture, has criticised the system of enforcement of building regulations here.

She said that because breaches are usually dealt with locally by negotiation there is no public record.

“When it comes to a different Government Department looking for previous issues”, she says, “maybe where there were warnings or problems on site, there isn’t a public record that can be relied on to record this”.

RTE: Work by WBS will be fully compliant, says Limerick hospital

Updated / Monday, 19 Aug 2019 20:47

By Emma O Kelly

Education Correspondent

University Hospital Limerick has said a new 60-bed ward being constructed by Western Building Systems will be fully compliant with building regulations.

The hospital earlier confirmed that the company, which built more than 40 schools where serious structural defects have been uncovered, was awarded a contract worth €14m for the project.

The defects were discovered at an initial 23 schools last October following the earlier discovery of fire safety breaches. The contract for the new hospital unit was awarded in May.

Since then, structural defects have been discovered at an additional 17 schools. Remediation work at the schools is expected to run to millions of euro.

The Department of Education is also pursuing 15 separate legal cases against the company.

In a statement this evening, University Hospital Limerick said that the HSE had followed strict EU public procurement guidelines in the process of awarding the hospital contract.

It said that Western Building Systems was entitled to bid for the contract and met all the contract criteria.

It said the detailed criteria set out that the project would be a rapid build and, as such, specialist work of this nature would have precluded some contractors from bidding.

 

This evening, Western Building Systems said that it continues to be awarded and deliver important public and private contracts in Ireland and the UK.

In a statement, it said that the Limerick hospital was one of a range of projects awarded to it in 2018 and 2019 following public and private tendering processes.

They include a social housing project, a nursing home project, and an apartment project. The company said it looked forward to “completing each to similar and proven satisfaction”.

It said it had also recently completed or was currently working on other projects, including a Department of Education project at a Dublin higher education college that is due to be completed this month, as well as projects at two Dublin schools that are due to be handed over later this year.

The company said it “welcomed engagement and cooperation with public contracting partners in respect of all such projects, not least to ensure we avoid a situation whereby projects which are deemed to have met contractual requirements and certified as such by Government Departments and agencies are subsequently not deemed to be”.

According to building expert Orla Hegarty, of UCD, the criteria for a project such as this would be drawn up by the body putting out the tender.

The tender documents state that the awarding criterion is “the most economically advantageous tender meeting the specified minimum criteria”.

The criteria listed include the provision of details of projects “similar in nature and complexity” built over the past seven years, along with Certificates of Satisfactory Execution. Western Building Systems has built a number of other hospital buildings, where no defects have been found.

The hospital says that the evaluation criteria for the tender required that the design-and-build contractor, their nominated design team and subcontractors met specifically selected stringent criteria for qualifications and experience; turnover and performance bond requirements; programme and resources and project quality execution plans.

It says the HSE has appointed a technical adviser team to supervise the contractor’s design and construction works and to ensure compliance with contract requirements. It says that in addition, local HSE Estates staff, including engineers and clerk of works, will oversee and monitor the construction project.

The tender for the 60-bed ward block at University Hospital Limerick was published on the Official Journal of the European Union and E-tenders procurement platforms in July of last year. The deadline for receipt of tenders was last September.

The contract was formally awarded to Western Building Systems in May, and the contract commenced on 15 May.

The hospital says the 60-bed block is “an interim measure to help add much needed bed capacity in the short-term”.

Ardgillan College remains closed

Read more:

The Minister for Health has said he has no role in the awarding of individual contracts by the HSE.

Simon Harris said it would be inappropriate for him to comment on the decision to give the contract to Western Building Systems.

Mr Harris said that while he cannot comment on any particular case, the HSE can make arrangements for onsite supervision for any contract.

The Department of Education is pursuing legal action against Western Building Systems for the cost of both the temporary and long-term remediation of the defects discovered at the schools the company built.

The full cost of repairs to the 42 schools is not yet known, but it is likely to run to millions of euro.

Court documents have revealed that the department has estimated the cost of repairs at one school Ardgillan Community College, where it is believed the gravest defects were discovered, is likely to exceed €3 million.

The building at Ardgillan Community College was closed down last October and remains closed.

Ms Hegarty, who is Assistant Professor at UCD’s School of Architecture, has criticised the system of enforcement of building regulations here.

She said that because breaches are usually dealt with locally by negotiation there is no public record.

“When it comes to a different Government Department looking for previous issues”, she says, “maybe where there were warnings or problems on site, there isn’t a public record that can be relied on to record this”.

 

—————————————————————-Leo Didn’t Know that Some Uses of social Security Card Were Illegal?

Varadkar Says He Didn’t Know that Using the Public Service Card for services other than Social Welfare  and Employment issues was illegal though he has a paid ATTORNEY GENERAL who sits at Cabinet  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

LEGAL PRINCIPLE:  Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat (Latin for “ignorance of the law excuses not” and “ignorance of law excuses no one” respectively)

So Taoiseach, Chief Maker and Implementer of Laws , can be charged in Court?  WRONG  !!!!

Because the law mainly effects Large Corporations and Governments, it was carefully crafted to ensure that breaking this law was not a criminal offence!!  The only remedy If your privacy was violated is to sue the government agency in the High Court, IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY To HIRE EXPENSIVE LAWYERS!!!

 ———————————————————–CRIMINAL ENDANGERMENT OF WOMENS’ LIVES AND HEALTH BY 3 MOST RECENT GOVERNMENTS

HEALTH MINISTER MARY HARNEY REFUSED TO HEED THE WARNINGS OF MASTER OF THE ROTUNDA UNIVERSITY MATERNITY HOSPITAL

Drivetime on RTE- Presenter: “ Is it time we stopped sending cervical smears abroad for testing?”   Full Item https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Academy of Laboratory Sciences calls for repatriation of tests

Drivetime Presenter “Mary Harney said that a crucial factor in the award of the contract to US company Quest was that its bid came in at one third of the Irish bids”!!!

Listen starting at 45 minutes into recording at link below

https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/11074419

Recording at the link above includes interview with Sam Coulter Smith, Former Master of Rotunda University Maternity Hospital “We had no oversight of the process abroad–. Irish women are screened once every 3 years whereas American women are screened every year—. Their testing doesn’t have to be as rigorous–. When we met Mary Harney( Minister for Health and Children from 2004 to 2011) and voiced objections she looked to Tony O’Brien , then head of Cancer Screening, later Chief Executive  of HSE, to knock us back and to refute our views  :“If we continue to outsource testing we will continue to have no visibility, no control into the future “

Mr Tony O’Brien was forced to step down as CEO of HSE over his oversight of the Cervical Check scandal in 2018-Irish Independent, May 11, 2018

The outsourcing to the US of smear tests begun by Mary Harney in the Bertie Ahern Government was continued by the FG-Labour Government 2011-2016  and by the current FG-Independent Alliance Government  which took office in 2016

 

—————————————————————————————————————————–Cervical Testing: Outsourcing the Maintenance of Buses is Money Grabbing by Bus Companies

Outsourcing of Medical Testing to another Country or Jurisdiction is Criminal Endangerment of Human Beings-The Three Most Recent Governments are Guilty

Yesterday I called for the repatriation of medical testing to Irelandpost calling for the repatriation of cervical testing to Ireland in the interest of safety of women.

Readers will understand how gratified I am that the Irish Academy Of Laboratory Scientists has now supported this demand in accordance with Recommendation 7 of the Prof MacCraith Report The  interview with Board member Marie Culliton on Morning Ireland , to-day , Aug 9, can be heard here   https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/21600793

One of the first groups I taught in Kevin St (DIT) when I entered in 1967 was medical laboratory technicians. It was a diploma course at that time and when RTCs were set up later the course was replicated in the bigger ones. I was teaching the underlying physics of radiation therapy and the use of isotopes in diagnosis of cancers and bodily dysfunctions. My colleagues in the actual testing  area were experienced hospital scientists who had achieved higher specialised qualifications. For decades we provided qualified testers to Irish hospitals. We provided a degree level course and a master’s course. In order to do this my colleague in the testing area gave up their weekends for two years to attend a specialised course in NUU(Coleraine). In 2008, we had hundreds of skilled hospital scientists working in Irish hospitals.

Then the Progressive Democrat Tánaiste in the Ahern Government decided to outsource testing internationally. She had meetings with the relevant  US companies. All the hospital professions opposed the move but it went ahead. This outsourcing was continued by the three most recent governments

There is a huge difference between outsourcing the maintenances of vehicles and the outsourcing of medical testing. If the frequency of vehicle break-downs continues , the business can be withdrawn from that service supplier. In medical testing, if there is faulty service, human beings may have died or have serious long term damage to health before the situation is even addressed as has unfortunately occurred.

For that reason it is vital that medical testing bodies have no financial interest in larger volume throughput and haste. It is crucial that the state on behalf of Irish citizens have statutory authority over the reliability of medical tests including the effectiveness of systems and the competence of testers. This requires statutory inspection rights and compellability of witnesses from the testing body. This can only be done by the Irish state if the tests are carried out in Ireland.`

Outsourcing of medical tests to another jurisdiction is criminal endangerment of human beings by government.

—————————————————————Cervical Check New Scandal: This week HSE has sent a letter with wrong information to 400 Women whose results had been delayed for months-Irish Times

https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Apologies are not Enough! Government must urgently reverse outsourcing of Cervical tests from Ireland as recommended by Prof MacCraith

Recommendation 7: The HSE, with the support of Government, needs to accelerate progress towards the establishment of a National Laboratory for Cervical Testing, encompassing state-of-the-art informatics, analytics and sample/result tracking. This will remove Ireland’s current high risk dependence on a single outsourced supplier.

TDs must insist on a dealine of 6 months for the implementation of this recommendation and the immediate allocation of the necessary investment

The Irish State cannot by Law enforce changes to testing systems in another country. It can only withdraw business after women have already died or been damaged in their health.

Irish Times, Aug 8:Approximately 400 women whose cervical smear test results were delayed for months in the latest cancer screening controversy, have THIS WEEK received a letter with incorrect information about those results.

In a statement, the HSE said in the letters sent out, “we also confirmed that the result of these women’s HPV re-test was unchanged ‘and remains HPV negative’. However, for some women, this should have read ‘and remains HPV positive’.

Full Irish Times Article  https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/cervicalcheck-sends-letter-with-incorrect-test-results-to-400-women-1.3979982

 

————————————————————–Cervical Check: Taoiseach To Apologise But WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH!!!

https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Government Must Give a agree to urgently expand Irish testing facilities both at the Coombe Hospital and elsewhere to enable all tests to take place in Ireland . Varadkar must give an undertaking to have sufficient facilities in place within 6 months and give immediate notice to Quest Laboratories that their contract will expire at the same time

RTE: Patient representatives met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  and Minister for Health Simon Harris to discuss how the State might formally apologise for overall CervicalCheck failures today August 8.

This was the first meeting to discuss the issue and was attended by Lorraine Walsh and Stephen Teap, who are patient representatives on the CervicalCheck Steering Committee and members of the 221+ support group.

 ——————————————————-Cervical Check Scandal-We are not talking just about a Computer Glitch, what happened is due to Criminal Negligence by Government

https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Irish Examiner: Poor service and a lack of information from the HSE was most evident in the decision by HSE not to communicate with women about IT problems in a Quest Diagnostics’ laboratory in Chantilly in the US for six months this year.-Prof MacCraith

(“poor service” must be the understatement of the century for what happened to the women victims)

Minister Harris was not told by HSE either??? If you believe that you will believe anything! See points 3,3a and 4 in the Evasion of Responsibility System set out above

————————————————————Cervical Check Scandal: Read My Full Analysis of Shocking Savagery By 3 Successive Governments  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

No Apology by Minister Harris to 4080 Women (more than the 800 victims previously admitted) He Says he didn’t know because nobody told him !!  Note Points 3,3a and 4 of the General Scheme for Evading Political Responsibility for Anything Below

Report Of Professor McGrath Recommends Reversal of Outsourcing Of Cervical Testing By Mary Harney Of The Progressive Democrats(2008) Which Has Been Continued by Successive Governments including the Labour-Fine Gael Government(2011-2016) and the Present  FG/Independent Alliance Government (this vindicates the positions I have long advocated here 

Recommendation 7 :The HSE, with the support of Government, needs to accelerate progress towards the establishment of a National Laboratory for Cervical Testing, encompassing state-of-the-art informatics, analytics and sample/result tracking. This will remove Ireland’s current high risk dependence on a single outsourced supplier.

(Having myself  lectured to hospital scientists for years, I am acutely aware that the expertise which my colleagues and I had built up in Irish Hospitals (and the courses we provided in Institutes of Technology) have been severely damaged by outsourcing of medical testing-Paddy Healy)

The HSE has Apologised to 4080 women. But there is no Apology from the Minister Harris. He Says he didn’t know because nobody told him !!  Note Point 3 of My Scheme for Evading Political Responsuibility

Lab was added by HSE to CervicalCheck programme without “due diligence and risk assessment”-Prof MacCraith

Fergal Bowers,RTE News Tuesday, 6 Aug 2019

Professor Brian MacCraith said there ‘was a constant theme of women frustrated by poor service and lack of information’

The addition of the Quest Diagnostics Chantilly Laboratory as a CervicalCheck test facility took place without proper operational due diligence and risk assessment, according to a Rapid Review report. (But the allocation of responsibility to any person) was “outside the terms of reference of the Report)

The report found that, however well-motivated and taken in the context of a major backlog of samples, the decision to proceed with using the lab without first testing and validating that it could be seamlessly integrated into well-established operating processes led to system failure, with consequent impact on women and GPs.

The Rapid Review was established after RTÉ News revealed on 11 July, that the HSE and the Department of Health knew then that more than 800 women and many GPs were not told of CervicalCheck results, due to an IT problem.

It said that with the introduction of manual workarounds, the IT problem should have triggered “serious concerns, proactive risk management and escalation”.

The report also found there was a gross underestimation of the scale and implications of the problem.

The primary casualty was communications with the women and GPs, with the breakdown in automated results generation, it concluded.

The report said there was a decision not to communicate with women about the IT problems and its implications for a full six months in 2019.

Report author Professor Brian MacCraith said that between February and last week, there was no communication with the majority of women involved.

“Throughout this review there was a constant theme of women frustrated by poor service and lack of information, their information,” Prof MacCraith said.

The report said that within CervicalCheck there were too few people managing too many significant projects simultaneously.

The Health Service Executive has said it “accepts entirely” the findings of the review.

 

A member of the CervicalCheck Steering Committee has said it was “really disappointing” to find out that more than 4,000 women(not 800 as previously admitted) have not got their smear results.

Cervical cancer survivor Lorraine Walsh said it was not very reassuring for the women of Ireland to think that the smear system and the CervicalCheck programme had not got things under control.

NINE RECOMMENDATIONS OF Professor MacCraith REPORT

The independent Rapid Review into CervicalCheck has found that a key feature of all samples sent to the laboratory at the centre of the IT problem was the delayed reporting of results.

On 15 July, CEO of the Health Service Executive Paul Reid announced that he was commissioning an immediate and independent rapid review of the incident.

The aim of the review was to determine the facts that led to this situation and to identify how the communication of screening results to women and their GPs was planned and managed.

The review, carried out by Professor Brian MacCraith, has found the addition of the Quest Diagnostics Chantilly Laboratory as a CervicalCheck test facility “took place without proper operational due diligence, risk assessment of the downstream implementation and, therefore, risk mitigation”.

The report also found there was a gross underestimation of the scale and implications of the problem.

The primary casualty was communications with the women and GPs, with the breakdown in automated results generation, it concluded.

There are nine recommendations from the review:

  1. The HSE needs to move quickly to ensure that CervicalCheck becomes a well-structured, strongly led organisation with good management practice and an active culture of risk management.
  2. A strengthened CervicalCheck needs to adopt a ‘Women First’ approach as a matter of priority. This initiative will have a primary focus on the continuous flow of information to women, customer relationship management and trust-building measures. The feasibility of sample tracking at every stage of the process from woman to result should be pursued actively. Human resource needs to be dedicated solely to this ‘Women First’ approach.
  3.  The HSE needs to ensure that Quest Diagnostics delivers on its commitment to appoint a ‘Dedicated Project Manager’ for Ireland. A matching Programme Manager at CervicalCheck needs to be appointed as a matter of urgency (This position is currently vacant).
  4. All recruitment for a strengthened CervicalCheck needs to be given the highest priority and facilitated with an accelerated process.
  5. In order to ensure the efficient implementation of these recommendations, it would be prudent to integrate them into the remit of the existing Oversight Group for Scally Report Implementation.
  6. Although the clinical risk is deemed to be low for the patients in the cohort covered by this review (see section 6.4), for complete assurance more detailed evaluation of the referred history and subsequent findings should be carried out for this cohort.
  7. The HSE, with the support of Government, needs to accelerate progress towards the establishment of a National Laboratory for Cervical Testing, encompassing state-of-the-art informatics, analytics and sample/result tracking. This will remove Ireland’s current high risk dependence on a single outsourced supplier.
  8. The issue of recognising the important role of patient representatives should be addressed with a view to placing it on a more stable footing and enhancing relationships with all relevant elements of the healthcare system.
  9. The HSE should appoint an International Advisory Group for CervicalCheck to ensure that it is adopting and implementing best international practice.

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General Plan Designed to Allow Ministers and Governments to Evade Responsibility for Citizens’ Well-Being https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

1)Set Up  Agency Seperate from Government(Eg HSE) To Deliver “Service” to “Customers” on capitalist market model (Redress for aggrieved customers only through courts without legal aid)

(Irish Times 2014 The head of the Health Service Executive has said the way it was established a decade ago was “like a high speed car crash”.He said this meant the “high-speed amalgamation of the health boards in 2004, which resulted in the HSE when it was established to replace them having a very difficult initial period”.)

1a)   Contract out key functions to private companies at home and abroad to achieve efficiencies (expenditure cuts)! and put service (eg examining smears on slides) “at arms length” from Agency such as HSE. HSE not Responsible!!!

1a’)  State funds huge infrastructural investment (eg broadband) but private companies make the profit on the service!!!

1b) Write into legal contract with private companies that, in return for the business, the company will indemnify the state agency against law suits and that the company will be allowed to demand confidentiality clauses from aggrieved “customers” seeking redress in return for compensation. BUT Now INSTEAD, foreign companies are requiring Irish state indemnity against law suits to continue service!!!

1 c) Procedures of Companies abroad(EG Screening Companies) not subject to Irish Law (Irish Government and HSE not Responsible for their activities)-purely commercial relationship

1(d) US  Screening Companies contract out screening of slides from Irish women to sub-contractors all over the world. US companies can blame sub-contractors for “mistakes”. Irish government have even less control of implementation of “quality assurance” standards!

2)Head of State Agency (EG HSE or Garda Management)) not required to report on “operational matters” to Minister

3) Induction Programme Tells  recruits to new Agency not to report failures to Head of Agency in writing.  Ministers , Civil Servants, Agency Heads, must always deny informing the responsible minister verbally unless Taoiseach and Responsible Minister have given permission to do so in advance.

3a) Where not already in place introduce this practice into relevant Government         Department

4) When scandal breaks Minister says s/he doesn’t know and is “shocked”.

5) Head of Agency says s/he didnt know

6) Minister and Agency Head cannot be expected to resign because they didn’t know and are now required to “clear up the mess”.

7)They will both set up enquiries and investigations. Terms of reference will protect government and agency head from blame. (Scally was precluded from blaming any person for the Cervical Check scandal) .Any questioning of the over-all governance system must also be precluded by terms of reference.

7(a) If necessary choose a scape-goat outside of government  to blame

8) Minister and head of agency are both “bloody raging” and “mad as hell”

9) Head of Government, Minister and Head of Agency will now ride to rescue of victims on a White Horse

10) It all happens again 2 years later and points 3 to 9 above resume!

—————————————————————–Deep Cynicism and Savagery By Neglect to Irish People By Varadkar and his Government in Maintaining These Governance Schemes. Free Market Extremist Minister Mary Harney, Progressive Democrats, Outsourced Cervical Check to US Labs in 2008-Shocking Village Magazine Report Further Down

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HSE BOSS NOT TOLD OF DELAYED CERVICAL CHECK RESULTS https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

See Point 3 in my Governance Scheme Further Down: 3)”Induction Programme: Tell recruits to new Agency not to report failures to Head of Agency in writing.  Ministers , Civil Servants, Agency Heads, must always deny informing the responsible minister verbally unless Taoiseach and Responsible Minister have given permission to do so in advance.

Suday Independent July 14: Stephen McMahon, of the Irish Patients’ Association, said the HSE confirmed to him last Friday night that HSE Director, Paul Reid had not been briefed in advance about what he said was a “systems failure”.

He said the failure to inform the CEO was of serious concern, given the importance of the cervical cancer screening programme and how dependent it is on trust.

 —————————————————————-The risk to the 800 Women Not given Cervical check results for up to nine months only came to light due to persistent questioning of Department of Health, HSE, Cervical Screening Service by one woman and subsequent questions from RTE!!!

Health Minister Harris and HSE Refuse to Appear to answer Questions on Morning Ireland  12/07/2018-listen back to two pieces

Department of Health referred RTE questions to HSE. As you will see below, HSE was set up to receive  outsourced blame  from Government for neglect, disasters, mistakes etc. Thus government could take responsibility for all positive “achievements” only!

Morning Ireland Interview with Persistent Cervical Check Complainant  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey  to-day Friday July 12, 2019

https://player.fm/series/series-2281703/woman-told-some-type-of-it-glitch-led-to-delay

Woman told ‘some type of IT glitch’ led to delay

Tommy Meskill speaks to ‘Sharon’ whose probing uncovered an IT glitch had left 800 women without results from their cervical screening. Lorraine Walsh, board member of 221+ group, reacts to failure by the HSE to notify women of their CervicalCheck results.

 

——————————————————————It is outrageous to outsource life or death medical scans to a foreign country where The Irish state is not in a position to enforce standards. How many have died or will die as a result? Successive Irish Governments are responsible. The HSE was set up to “outsource” Government responsibility! 

800 women did not receive CervicalCheck results after IT issue at US laboratory

Fergal Bowers, RTE, Thursday, 11 Jul 2019

The issue arose at Quest Diagnostics laboratory in the US (file pic)

Around 800 women who underwent CervicalCheck screening were not issued with their results due to what the Health Service Executive has said was an IT issue.

The tests were carried out between 1 October 2018 and 25 June this year and were mainly repeat tests for human papillomavirus (HPV).

The problem arose in one Quest Diagnostics laboratory in Chantilly in Virginia in the US, which the HSE said was quality assured and part of extra Quest Diagnostics capacity secured by CervicalCheck.

——————————————————————————————————————

Village Magazine, 27 June  2018

By Frank Connolly

Mary Harney Will Appear before Scally Inquiry To explain her discussions with Quest and her Decision to outsource cervical testing to it

Former Minister for Health, Mary Harney, met one of the US firms at the centre of the cervical smear testing scandal on three occasions in 2008 and 2009. Harney was Minister when US firm, Quest Diagnostics, secured the tender for smear testing in 2008 against the advice of leading Irish cytologists who questioned the reliability of the US laboratories.

Objections raised by Irish pathologists, including by Dr David Gibbons of St Luke’s Hospital, about the poor quality of US tests compared to Irish results were dismissed by the HSE and by Tony O’Brien who was then in charge of the National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS). Dr Gibbons has said that he resigned from the oversight board which supervised the NCSS after his warnings were ignored. O’Brien stood down from his post as Director General of the HSE last month in the wake of the cervical-smear scandal.

 

Former Minister for Health, Mary Harney, met one of the US firms at the centre of the cervical smear testing scandal on three occasions in 2008 and 2009. Harney was Minister when US firm, Quest Diagnostics, secured the tender for smear testing in 2008 against the advice of leading Irish cytologists who questioned the reliability of the US laboratories.

According to documents obtained by Village from the Department of Health, Harney met representatives of Quest in October 2008, June 2009 and October 2009 although details of the discussions were not revealed. The first encounter took place soon after Quest was awarded the multi-million-euro contract to provide laboratory-testing services to the HSE.

It had been checking slides from Irish hospitals for breast and other cancers for some years but with the introduction of national-screening programmes and a significant backlog in Irish laboratories, it was decided to outsource the service to Quest and, two years later, to other US laboratories.

Objections raised by Irish pathologists, including by Dr David Gibbons of St Luke’s Hospital, about the poor quality of US tests compared to Irish results were dismissed by the HSE and by Tony O’Brien who was then in charge of the National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS). Dr Gibbons has said that he resigned from the oversight board which supervised the NCSS after his warnings were ignored. O’Brien stood down from his post as Director General of the HSE last month in the wake of the cervical-smear scandal.

In 2008, the NCSS awarded the contract to analyse 300,000 Irish smear tests to Quest Diagnostics. Two years later Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL), based in Austin, Texas, was awarded a tender to provide laboratory services for CervicalCheck, the programme run by the NCSS. Both firms continue to provide laboratory testing services to the Irish health service.

Two months ago, Vicky Phelan (43) from Limerick settled her action in the High Court action against CPL for 2.5m. A smear test by the US firm in 2011 was misdiagnosed and failed to detect her cancer which was not found until three years later. She was not informed until September last that an audit in 2014 had discovered the 2011 misdiagnosis.

Emma Mhic Mhathúna was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016 after being told that a test of her slides had been wrongly diagnosed by Quest in 2013 and possibly as far back as 2010 when another slide was apparently misread by the New-Jersey-based company. The 37-year-old mother of five children is dying of cancer. In late May, further distress was caused to her when the High Court was informed that Quest was seeking to have her children interviewed by a psychologist to assess the impact her death would have on them.

There was significant controversy when Quest was awarded the major testing contract in 2008 – with cytologists and medical laboratory scientists warning that there was already evidence that the US system produced results that were less accurate than the work done in Irish hospitals, including at St Luke’s Hospital and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin and Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Village has recently learned that an inquiry by HIQA into the incorrect diagnosis of tests of cancer sufferer Rebecca O’Malley was informed by a medical scientist in CUH in 2007, a year before the main contract was awarded to Quest, that there was an unacceptably high failure rate in its test results.

The debate over the decision to award the contract to Quest was revived in February 2009 when it emerged that Harney had spent almost a week in the US, including visits to Texas, Arizona and Washington DC a year earlier, in February 2008 just months before the contract to Quest was awarded. Most of the media attention focused on her attendance, with her husband Brian Geoghegan, at the Super Bowl football game in Arizona during her trip.

She visited several US health facilities including the Mayo Clinic and a cancer-treatment centre in Houston, Texas. The itinerary provided by the Department of Health to Village in recent days does not include any mention of meetings or visits to Quest or any other laboratory testing firms.

Details released under Freedom of Information at the time disclosed that the trip cost some 1190,000 involving 23 hours of flying time on the government jet, 111,000 on hotel bills,13,380 on food and drink and more than111,000 on hiring mini-buses to ferry the seven-member delegation to various venues.

Asked about the content and outcome of her meetings with Quest in 2008 and 2009, the Department did not address the question directly but said:

“A dedicated team is in place in the Department to oversee and progress the CervicalCheck records trawl. Work is ongoing and the trawl is being informed by the broad terms of reference of the Inquiry being undertaken by Dr (Gabriel) Scally. At this point, however, the Department can advise that following a check of the Minister’s diary database there are three entries relating to meetings between the then Minister and Quest Diagnostics: 9/10/2008; 17/6/2009; 13/10/2009”.

Harney, who was the leader of the Progres- sive Democrats during her time as Minister in the Fianna Fáil led government, is expected to appear before the Scally inquiry to explain the contents of her discussions with Quest. She will also be asked to explain her role in the decision to outsource to the US laboratories the testing of slides of Irish women seeking to avoid life-threatening cancer conditions.

The decision to outsource the service to US companies was hugely influenced by the estimate by the HSE and the Department of Health that the programme would be significantly more cost-effective than the Irish system at the time.

Irish laboratories complained at the time that the tender criteria, whereby applicants must be capable of carrying out large volumes of tests, rendered them unable to compete given the shortage of laboratory scientists although there were training programmes underway. Most of the public laboratories closed after the contract was awarded to Quest.

Leading obstetricians, including Sam Coulter Smith former master of the Rotunda Hospital, warned the HSE and the Department of Health ten years ago that outsourcing to private companies overseas could lead to cancers being undetected. Differences in time zones, and in medical terminology, could lead to confusion, he warned, while the distance between analysts could also create difficulties. A key concern related to the difference between the screening practice in the US where women were given smear tests every year and in Ireland where they are done every three years.

“There is an issue of Americans using completely different nomenclature – they use different wording to describe smears and abnormalities”, Coulter Smith said.

“There were always going to be issues in relation to translating between the two services. Also there is a need for multi-disciplinary team meetings to discuss various degrees of abnormality. If you are trying to organise those multi-disciplinary team meetings across multiple time zones, via video link, that creates its own technical difficulties – as well as the language. When you put all of that mix together it is not altogether surprising that there were issues in relation to quality assurance”.

In 2008, medical laboratory scientists and pathologists also sought to keep smear testing in Ireland. At the time, some consultant pathologists warned that up to 1,000 cases of cervical cancer a year could be missed if the analysis was outsourced to the US.

After they raised their concerns in May 2008 about the award of the tender to Quest, consultants were accused of “a selective and distorted use of data” and of having a “vested interest in the procurement process”.

“It is important that people understand that the people making these claims are those who find themselves at the wrong end of this procurement process”, said Tony O’Brien, then chief executive of the NCSS. The controversy further deepened when it emerged that Quest had settled a number of multi-million dollar fraud cases with US federal authorities over the previous 10 years. The NCSS had known of the claims of overcharging against Quest before it awarded the tender.

At a meeting of the Oireachtas health committee last month, the general secretary of the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association (MLSA), Terry Casey, said that it was his view that the decision to outsource to the US labs had to have been signed off “with political input”.

His comments referred to the role of the Minister for Health, Mary Harney, who was an enthusiastic advocate for the outsourcing and privatising of health services, including the provision of public lands at hospitals around the county for the co-location of private health facilities. Harney defended the award of the tender to Quest at the time and said the tender was at one-third of the cost of any from an Irish lab.

Harney is currently on the board of a number of pharmaceutical companies and is chairman of VideoDoc which provides online GP consultation services. According to the company, it “partners with several high-profile health providers across Ireland such as VHI, Beaumont Hospital, Group Schemes in Ireland, and Clanwilliam Healthcare”.

Frank Connolly

————————————————————-Housing Minister Murphy pushed Airbnb crackdown on Tourism Minister Ross – who is being blamed for ‘softer regulation’ of AIRBnB

Hugh O’Connell, Irish Examiner, August 5 2019  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

An internal row between the Departments of Housing and Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) has resurfaced after it was reported yesterday the Government ignored a plan drawn up by officials to ban short-term letting platforms such as AirBnB if they failed to abide by strict new rules.

Tourism Minister Shane Ross is being blamed for the Government’s failure to introduce a tougher crackdown on short-term letting platforms such as Airbnb.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is insisting he did what he could to regulate short-term letting in a bid to free-up much-needed housing for the rental market.

The Fine Gael minister believes that regulating platforms such as Airbnb is ultimately a matter for the department headed by Shane Ross, the Independent Alliance minister.

“He moved as quickly as possible, within his remit, to bring homes onto the rental market for families and individuals living and working in our cities,” Mr Murphy’s spokesman said yesterday.

“The laws are in place and operating. Eoghan Murphy did what he could, as quickly as he could. Regulating the tourism industry is a separate issue from housing.”

But Mr Ross’s spokesman was insistent yesterday that his department has “no responsibility for regulating, licensing or registration of commercial platforms”.

However, officials in Mr Murphy’s department believe Mr Ross has ignored his responsibilities in this area. “We went to [his department] and said this was your baby and they rebuked furiously and said it was a housing matter,” one Department of Housing source said.

“Tourism didn’t want to do it. We did as much as we could within our powers.”

Mr Murphy brought in new rules last month which require hosts using Airbnb and other short-term letting sites to register their property with their local authority and apply for planning permission if they rent out an entire property for more than 90 days a year.

Local authorities have been given responsibility for enforcing the new rules which involve fines of up to €5,000 on hosts who are non-compliant.

But the ‘Sunday Business Post’ reported yesterday that a group of public servants devised a much stricter regime that would have seen short-term letting platforms only allow ads by hosts who had registered their properties with local authorities.

In addition, hosts who rented out their entire property for more than 90 days would be banned from taking any more bookings and short-term letting platforms and would face heavy fines and the loss of their State licence to operate if they did not comply.

Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said that responsibility for introducing tougher regulations lies with Mr Murphy, and said he would have to revisit the issue.

“It should be a planning offence to advertise non-compliant short-term lets,” Mr Ó Broin said. “As the enforcement of planning issues falls within the remit of local authorities, Minister Murphy’s argument that it is a tourism issue and therefore falls to Minister Ross to regulate doesn’t hold up.”

—————————————————————New Government Regulations for AirBnB Lettings Are Designed to Be Unenforceable!!! Government is Pretending To Favour long term Housing-so it will spend millions pretending to enforce the regulations!!!

Why did the government turn down a common-sense enforcement system for short-term letting and replace it with an inferior one?-Michael Brennan  Sunday Business Post Aug 4  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Sometimes in politics, a government wants to be seen to be ‘doing something’ – without actually achieving anything.

The new short-term letting regulations seem like a case in point.

A government working group was set up containing experienced public servants from the Department of Housing, the Department of Tourism and Transport, the Residential Tenancies Board, Fáilte Ireland and An Bord Pleanála.

The officials in the group acknowledged that home-sharing provided homeowners with extra income to pay their mortgages and boosted the tourism sector. But they also said it could encourage landlords to stop renting properties or encourage investors to buy homes for short-term letting.

The officials came up with a simple system to enforce the new 90-day limit on renting out entire properties on short-term letting platforms. Who has all the information on the hosts? The short-term letting platforms themselves. So a host on Airbnb would have to register before they could actually advertise their property on the Airbnb platform

And it would be up to Airbnb to enforce the new 90-day limit by stopping hosts from taking any further bookings. It was enforcement with the click of a button.

The working group delivered their recommendations last December – which gave the government plenty of time to move on them. But instead there were rushed regulations last May which ignored the recommendations of the working group almost entirely.

It is now up to the councils to do the enforcement. Their staff can log onto Airbnb to find non-registered hosts. But policing the 90-day rule will be almost impossible in the absence of data from Airbnb.

Can you imagine the Revenue putting up with that? It does not – which is why it has been getting data from Airbnb for several years to collect tax on the earnings of hosts.

Why did the government turn down a common-sense enforcement system for short-term letting and replace it with an inferior one? For a start, there are 6,000 Airbnb hosts in the country who made €168 million from renting out all or part of their homes last year. That is a significant group of voters who could be upset if their income is reduced by the new restrictions. Airbnb sent out letters to hosts urging them to put pressure on their local TDs – and some of them did.

Then there are conflicting views in government. The Department of Housing’s mission is to deliver more housing. The Department of Tourism’s mission is to deliver more tourists. On this one, it looks like the Department of Tourism prevailed.

But it is the Department of Housing that will have to keep picking up the bills for the 10,000 people in emergency accommodation – due to the lack of available rental properties. That is not the only cost.

The working group had recommended a levy on short-term letting platforms to pay for the regulatory system.

But the government is giving €800,000 to Dublin city council to hire five planning enforcement officers.

Other councils in Galway, Cork, Limerick and Waterford will need money too. But the enforcement system looks like it is designed to fail. It is like pouring water into a leaky bucket.

 

————————————————————-Deep Cynicism and Savagery By Neglect to Irish People By Varadkar and his Government in Maitaining These Governance Schemes. Free Market Extremist Minister Mary Harney, Progressive Democrats, Outsourced Cervical Check to US Labs-Shocking Village Magazine Report Further Down

—————————————————————————————————————————-

HSE BOSS NOT TOLD OF DELAYED CERVICAL CHECK RESULTS https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

See Point 3 in my Governance Scheme Further Down: 3)”Induction Programme: Tell recruits to new Agency not to report failures to Head of Agency in writing.  Ministers , Civil Servants, Agency Heads, must always deny informing the responsible minister verbally unless Taoiseach and Responsible Minister have given permission to do so in advance.

Suday Independent July 14: Stephen McMahon, of the Irish Patients’ Association, said the HSE confirmed to him last Friday night that HSE Director, Paul Reid had not been briefed in advance about what he said was a “systems failure”.

He said the failure to inform the CEO was of serious concern, given the importance of the cervical cancer screening programme and how dependent it is on trust.

 —————————————————————-The risk to the 800 Women Not given Cervical check results for up to nine months only came to light due to persistent questioning of Department of Health, HSE, Cervical Screening Service by one woman and subsequent questions from RTE!!!

Health Minister Harris and HSE Refuse to Appear to answer Questions on Morning Ireland  12/07/2018-listen back to two pieces

Department of Health referred RTE questions to HSE. As you will see below, HSE was set up to receive  outsourced blame  from Government for neglect, disasters, mistakes etc. Thus government could take responsibility for all positive “achievements” only!

Morning Ireland Interview with Persistent Cervical Check Complainant  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey  to-day Friday July 12, 2019

https://player.fm/series/series-2281703/woman-told-some-type-of-it-glitch-led-to-delay

Woman told ‘some type of IT glitch’ led to delay

Tommy Meskill speaks to ‘Sharon’ whose probing uncovered an IT glitch had left 800 women without results from their cervical screening. Lorraine Walsh, board member of 221+ group, reacts to failure by the HSE to notify women of their CervicalCheck results.

 

——————————————————————It is outrageous to outsource life or death medical scans to a foreign country where The Irish state is not in a position to enforce standards. How many have died or will die as a result? Successive Irish Governments are responsible. The HSE was set up to “outsource” Government responsibility! 

800 women did not receive CervicalCheck results after IT issue at US laboratory

Fergal Bowers, RTE, Thursday, 11 Jul 2019

The issue arose at Quest Diagnostics laboratory in the US (file pic)

Around 800 women who underwent CervicalCheck screening were not issued with their results due to what the Health Service Executive has said was an IT issue.

The tests were carried out between 1 October 2018 and 25 June this year and were mainly repeat tests for human papillomavirus (HPV).

The problem arose in one Quest Diagnostics laboratory in Chantilly in Virginia in the US, which the HSE said was quality assured and part of extra Quest Diagnostics capacity secured by CervicalCheck.

——————————————————————————————————————

Village Magazine, 27 June  2018

By Frank Connolly

Mary Harney Will Appear before Scally Inquiry To explain her discussions with Quest and her Decision to outsource cervical testing to it

Former Minister for Health, Mary Harney, met one of the US firms at the centre of the cervical smear testing scandal on three occasions in 2008 and 2009. Harney was Minister when US firm, Quest Diagnostics, secured the tender for smear testing in 2008 against the advice of leading Irish cytologists who questioned the reliability of the US laboratories.

Objections raised by Irish pathologists, including by Dr David Gibbons of St Luke’s Hospital, about the poor quality of US tests compared to Irish results were dismissed by the HSE and by Tony O’Brien who was then in charge of the National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS). Dr Gibbons has said that he resigned from the oversight board which supervised the NCSS after his warnings were ignored. O’Brien stood down from his post as Director General of the HSE last month in the wake of the cervical-smear scandal.

 

Former Minister for Health, Mary Harney, met one of the US firms at the centre of the cervical smear testing scandal on three occasions in 2008 and 2009. Harney was Minister when US firm, Quest Diagnostics, secured the tender for smear testing in 2008 against the advice of leading Irish cytologists who questioned the reliability of the US laboratories.

According to documents obtained by Village from the Department of Health, Harney met representatives of Quest in October 2008, June 2009 and October 2009 although details of the discussions were not revealed. The first encounter took place soon after Quest was awarded the multi-million-euro contract to provide laboratory-testing services to the HSE.

It had been checking slides from Irish hospitals for breast and other cancers for some years but with the introduction of national-screening programmes and a significant backlog in Irish laboratories, it was decided to outsource the service to Quest and, two years later, to other US laboratories.

Objections raised by Irish pathologists, including by Dr David Gibbons of St Luke’s Hospital, about the poor quality of US tests compared to Irish results were dismissed by the HSE and by Tony O’Brien who was then in charge of the National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS). Dr Gibbons has said that he resigned from the oversight board which supervised the NCSS after his warnings were ignored. O’Brien stood down from his post as Director General of the HSE last month in the wake of the cervical-smear scandal.

In 2008, the NCSS awarded the contract to analyse 300,000 Irish smear tests to Quest Diagnostics. Two years later Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL), based in Austin, Texas, was awarded a tender to provide laboratory services for CervicalCheck, the programme run by the NCSS. Both firms continue to provide laboratory testing services to the Irish health service.

Two months ago, Vicky Phelan (43) from Limerick settled her action in the High Court action against CPL for 2.5m. A smear test by the US firm in 2011 was misdiagnosed and failed to detect her cancer which was not found until three years later. She was not informed until September last that an audit in 2014 had discovered the 2011 misdiagnosis.

Emma Mhic Mhathúna was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016 after being told that a test of her slides had been wrongly diagnosed by Quest in 2013 and possibly as far back as 2010 when another slide was apparently misread by the New-Jersey-based company. The 37-year-old mother of five children is dying of cancer. In late May, further distress was caused to her when the High Court was informed that Quest was seeking to have her children interviewed by a psychologist to assess the impact her death would have on them.

There was significant controversy when Quest was awarded the major testing contract in 2008 – with cytologists and medical laboratory scientists warning that there was already evidence that the US system produced results that were less accurate than the work done in Irish hospitals, including at St Luke’s Hospital and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin and Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Village has recently learned that an inquiry by HIQA into the incorrect diagnosis of tests of cancer sufferer Rebecca O’Malley was informed by a medical scientist in CUH in 2007, a year before the main contract was awarded to Quest, that there was an unacceptably high failure rate in its test results.

The debate over the decision to award the contract to Quest was revived in February 2009 when it emerged that Harney had spent almost a week in the US, including visits to Texas, Arizona and Washington DC a year earlier, in February 2008 just months before the contract to Quest was awarded. Most of the media attention focused on her attendance, with her husband Brian Geoghegan, at the Super Bowl football game in Arizona during her trip.

She visited several US health facilities including the Mayo Clinic and a cancer-treatment centre in Houston, Texas. The itinerary provided by the Department of Health to Village in recent days does not include any mention of meetings or visits to Quest or any other laboratory testing firms.

Details released under Freedom of Information at the time disclosed that the trip cost some 1190,000 involving 23 hours of flying time on the government jet, 111,000 on hotel bills,13,380 on food and drink and more than111,000 on hiring mini-buses to ferry the seven-member delegation to various venues.

Asked about the content and outcome of her meetings with Quest in 2008 and 2009, the Department did not address the question directly but said:

“A dedicated team is in place in the Department to oversee and progress the CervicalCheck records trawl. Work is ongoing and the trawl is being informed by the broad terms of reference of the Inquiry being undertaken by Dr (Gabriel) Scally. At this point, however, the Department can advise that following a check of the Minister’s diary database there are three entries relating to meetings between the then Minister and Quest Diagnostics: 9/10/2008; 17/6/2009; 13/10/2009”.

Harney, who was the leader of the Progres- sive Democrats during her time as Minister in the Fianna Fáil led government, is expected to appear before the Scally inquiry to explain the contents of her discussions with Quest. She will also be asked to explain her role in the decision to outsource to the US laboratories the testing of slides of Irish women seeking to avoid life-threatening cancer conditions.

The decision to outsource the service to US companies was hugely influenced by the estimate by the HSE and the Department of Health that the programme would be significantly more cost-effective than the Irish system at the time.

Irish laboratories complained at the time that the tender criteria, whereby applicants must be capable of carrying out large volumes of tests, rendered them unable to compete given the shortage of laboratory scientists although there were training programmes underway. Most of the public laboratories closed after the contract was awarded to Quest.

Leading obstetricians, including Sam Coulter Smith former master of the Rotunda Hospital, warned the HSE and the Department of Health ten years ago that outsourcing to private companies overseas could lead to cancers being undetected. Differences in time zones, and in medical terminology, could lead to confusion, he warned, while the distance between analysts could also create difficulties. A key concern related to the difference between the screening practice in the US where women were given smear tests every year and in Ireland where they are done every three years.

“There is an issue of Americans using completely different nomenclature – they use different wording to describe smears and abnormalities”, Coulter Smith said.

“There were always going to be issues in relation to translating between the two services. Also there is a need for multi-disciplinary team meetings to discuss various degrees of abnormality. If you are trying to organise those multi-disciplinary team meetings across multiple time zones, via video link, that creates its own technical difficulties – as well as the language. When you put all of that mix together it is not altogether surprising that there were issues in relation to quality assurance”.

In 2008, medical laboratory scientists and pathologists also sought to keep smear testing in Ireland. At the time, some consultant pathologists warned that up to 1,000 cases of cervical cancer a year could be missed if the analysis was outsourced to the US.

After they raised their concerns in May 2008 about the award of the tender to Quest, consultants were accused of “a selective and distorted use of data” and of having a “vested interest in the procurement process”.

“It is important that people understand that the people making these claims are those who find themselves at the wrong end of this procurement process”, said Tony O’Brien, then chief executive of the NCSS. The controversy further deepened when it emerged that Quest had settled a number of multi-million dollar fraud cases with US federal authorities over the previous 10 years. The NCSS had known of the claims of overcharging against Quest before it awarded the tender.

At a meeting of the Oireachtas health committee last month, the general secretary of the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association (MLSA), Terry Casey, said that it was his view that the decision to outsource to the US labs had to have been signed off “with political input”.

His comments referred to the role of the Minister for Health, Mary Harney, who was an enthusiastic advocate for the outsourcing and privatising of health services, including the provision of public lands at hospitals around the county for the co-location of private health facilities. Harney defended the award of the tender to Quest at the time and said the tender was at one-third of the cost of any from an Irish lab.

Harney is currently on the board of a number of pharmaceutical companies and is chairman of VideoDoc which provides online GP consultation services. According to the company, it “partners with several high-profile health providers across Ireland such as VHI, Beaumont Hospital, Group Schemes in Ireland, and Clanwilliam Healthcare”.

Frank Connolly

 

——————————————————————————————–

Gabriel Makhlouf, New Zealand’s Treasury Secretary, who is to become Head of the Irish Central Bank is ideally suited to his new post! He will “fit like a glove” into the Irish Governance System in Which Nobody is Required to Take Personal Responsibility for Anything!!!  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Mr Makhlouf wrongly claimed that the New Zealand  treasury had been “deliberately and systematically” hacked more than 2,000 times.  But the “budget leak” had been put up on the official website in error by treasury officials!!!

Incoming Central Bank governor Gabriel Makhlouf criticised for ‘clumsy’ handling of budget leak in New Zealand

Praveen Menon, Irish Independent, June 27 2019

“The breach of security around the Budget documents should never have happened, under any circumstances,” New Zealand State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes said in the report.

“The right thing to do here was to take personal responsibility for the failure irrespective of the actions of others and to do so publicly. He did not do that,” he said.

Thomas Coughlan

Irish Independent June 5 2019

It was all going so well for Gabriel Makhlouf. New Zealand’s Treasury Secretary began the last week of May getting ready to deliver the government’s budget, his last major set-piece before jetting off to become the next governor of the Central Bank in Ireland.

But by June, Mr Makhlouf was under investigation by New Zealand’s public service watchdog, with doubt looming over whether he would see out his last weeks in the job.

The left-leaning coalition led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was far more enthusiastic and used the budget to tout its left-wing credentials everywhere from New York to Davos.

But success was not to be. The National Party, New Zealand’s main opposition, was able to release more than 20 pages of highly confidential information from the government’s budget two days before its scheduled delivery.

Mr Makhlouf responded quickly, saying the treasury had been “deliberately and systematically” hacked more than 2,000 times.

The reality was more prosaic. A opposition staffer had simply used the search bar on the department’s website to reveal budget details that were partially visible despite being on a supposedly hidden part of the site. But by the time the truth was revealed, Mr Makhlouf had already called in the police and dragged in New Zealand’s National Cyber Security Centre, triggering nationwide outrage that the main opposition party might have implicated itself in nefarious hacking.

————————————————————–Children Under 5 Forbidden to play on Sand at Dollymount Beach By HSE As Sewage Discharged Directly into Streams Pollutes the Beach All year Round !!!

Seán Laffey, Head of Asset Management with Irish Water  on RTE:“Dollymount Beach Restrictions will continue  for the entire Summer : There are issues  with streams coming onto the beach due to “misconnections”  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Houses and Businesses are misconnected to streams coming on to the beach instead of to the sewage system

Presenter: What about pollution of sand on the beach?

“I am not overly familiar with sand on beaches, just about material coming out of the treatment plant.”

(Inland Fisheries Ireland is directly responsible for rivers)

Did Government Allow Dwellings  and Businesses To be connected directly to Rivers and Streams rather than to the Sewage System???

Can Government, Irish Water, Dublin Local Authorities, HSE, EPA be held Responsible for Pollution of Beaches by Polluted Streams and Rivers??

From Barthomew on Cedar Lounge Revolution: “Inland Fisheries Ireland is responsible for rivers, and they have taken Irish Water to court over the Tolka. I wonder are the streams at Dollymount too small for the IFI to cover, and somehow fall through the net?
I was more struck by Irish Water Rep Laffey’s admission that these spills happen ’15 or 20 times a year’. There are swimmers all year round at Seapoint and the 40 Foot, about 4km and 6km from the Ringsend plant. Does anyone warn them.??

Full Interview;  https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/21565946

 ——————————————————————-ADD New Point to my Neo-Liberal Governance  Scheme Set Out Below

“EVEN THINKING about all big public projects (such as rural broadband, Childrens Hospital) is OUTSOURCED because that way no one has to take responsibility for the public good”  Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times May 14,2019 https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

As of January, we have so far paid KPMG, one of the biggest consultancy and audit firms in the world, €11.33 million for work on the NBP. This is the way public policy is formed in the State now.

In 2015, following a public procurement process, KPMG was contracted to provide “financial, commercial and procurement advisory services” for the NBP. Its consultants then shaped the entire approach of the Department of Communications. According to correspondence from the departmental secretary general Mark Griffin, the KPMG people “either drafted or provided input/review of key procurement documentation”.

Key document

In fact, if you look at the key documents on the NBP on the department’s website, none of them even bears the logo of the State. Instead of the Irish harp, their covers have the global brand: KPMG.

This includes the most important document of all, the one that strongly recommends that the private company that gets all the public funding should retain full ownership of the infrastructure. 

Full Article

Fintan O’Toole: KPMG hoovers up fees as politicians forget everything

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-kpmg-hoovers-up-fees-as-politicians-forget-everything-1.3890867

 ————————————————————Sorry! I forgot the Oldest Trick in the Book To Evade Responsibility-Schedule  Delivery of Plan For After You Leave Office!! Used Long Before “Neo-Liberalism”!!

https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Extremist, Pro-Super-Rich, Varadkar says Rural Broadband Delivery  will be “rolled out” over 7 years???? Would You believe That?

—————————————————————John McManus, Opinion Editor, Irish Times: Someone finally shouts stop but nobody cares so nobody stops!

Profit on 3 Billion investment in Rural Broadband by State will go to private company!!!!

John McManus: Friday, May 3, 2019  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

“Rural Broadband Originally tagged to cost €500 million it is now expected to require an investment of €3 billion from taxpayers but will not be owned by the State.Mr Watt, Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, was asked to give his view on the rising cost of that plan. He demurred. “I have views, but any comment I would make would be career ending.”

 

Poor old Robert Watt must feel he just can’t win. The notoriously prickly secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform drew the fire of no less than three Oireachtas committees over the Government’s failure to control the costs of the National Children’s Hospital. After weeks of argument he agreed in early March to appear before a star chamber composed of members of the Public Accounts Committee and the Finance Committee.

Watt delivered an 18-page opening statement in which he talked about many things, but not the National Children’s Hospital. He described how his department, despite its grandiose title, had responsibility for how taxpayers’ money is spent but very little power. They keep an eye on how the money is being spent but its up to individual departments and agencies to deliver projects within budget.

The true extent of his department’s impotence was revealed in an aside he made to the committee about the national broadband plan – a project which is threatening to make the children’s hospital look like a bargain.

Originally tagged to cost €500 million it is now expected to require an investment of €3 billion from taxpayers but will not be owned by the State.

‘Career ending’

Mr Watt was asked to give his view on the rising cost of that plan. He demurred. “I have views, but any comment I would make would be career ending.”

It seems, however, that he made his views clear in private and they have now become public. Watt is widely reported to have been one of the “senior officials” who have counselled against proceeding with the plan because it does not represent good value for the taxpayer.However, the Government is determined to press ahead with the project.

Irony does not even put a tooth in it. Watt would appear to a have done exactly what politicians castigated him for not doing – rightly or wrongly – with respect to the costs of the children’s hospital. He has shouted stop. But he has in turn been completely ignored by politicians .

It must be particularly galling for Watt, who joined the Department of Finance from the public sector in 2008. He had a ringside seat as the banking sector imploded and nearly took the country with it.

He participated in the hand-wringing and recrimination that followed which culminated – from the Civil Service’s point of view at least – in the Nyberg Report.

The report, by the former Finnish civil servant, took very few prisoners. The Department of Finance was beaten up for not forcibly injecting itself in the debate about the stability of the financial system.

The following is from the conclusion so the report: “The commission could find no evidence that the Department of Finance formally tried to influence the financial regulator in its work. The department also did not make any efforts to strengthen its own financial market expertise, despite crisis management exercises in the EU having shown a need for it among finance ministries.”

It is well documented that the department consistently, though not forcefully enough, supported a less expansive fiscal policy, particularly regarding property market incentives. It also appears that worries about the developing financial situation were expressed internally from time to time by some department staff.

However, nothing came of this as “the Central Bank and financial regulator were seen as responsible for financial stability”.

Put simply, the department did not even pick up the ball, never mind drop it.

There are interesting parallels between the department’s hands-off approach back then and the formal relationship between Watt’s Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the agencies that spend the taxpayers’ money.

But the the crucial difference seems to be that 10 years later a senior public servant who lived through the crisis – and presumably bears the scars – did force his way into the the debate even though, by his own admission, his career could suffer.

But what is really perturbing is that nobody seems to care. The civil servant who, whether he likes it not, is seen by our elected representatives as one of the guardians of the public purse has said something is a really bad idea, but they are going to go ahead and do it anyway.

Why? Short-term electoral politics would appear to be the answer. Fear of a backlash in rural Ireland ahead of the local and European elections would appear to be the primary reasons for going against the advice of the civil servant who job is stop taxpayers’ money being wasted.

It does make you wonder what would have happened if, by some happy chance, the Department of Finance had tried much more “forcefully” to get the government to slow the economy and rein in the property market in 2007?

What if, for example, the secretary general of the Department of Finance had put his career on the line and spoken up? Would it have made a blind bit of difference?

—————————————————————-

General Plan Designed to Allow Ministers and Governments to Evade Responsibility for Citizens’ Well-Being https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

1)Set Up  Agency Seperate from Government(Eg HSE) To Deliver “Service” to “Customers” on capitalist market model (Redress for aggrieved customers only through courts without legal aid)

(Irish Times 2014 The head of the Health Service Executive has said the way it was established a decade ago was “like a high speed car crash”.He said this meant the “high-speed amalgamation of the health boards in 2004, which resulted in the HSE when it was established to replace them having a very difficult initial period”.)

1a)   Contract out key functions to private companies at home and abroad to achieve efficiencies (expenditure cuts)! and put service (eg examining smears on slides) “at arms length” from Agency such as HSE. HSE not Responsible!!!

1a’)  State funds huge infrastructural investment (eg broadband) but private companies make the profit on the service!!!

1b) Write into legal contract with private companies that, in return for the business, the company will indemnify the state agency against law suits and that the company will be allowed to demand confidentiality clauses from aggrieved “customers” seeking redress in return for compensation. BUT Now INSTEAD, foreign companies are requiring Irish state indemnity against law suits to continue service!!!

1 c) Procedures of Companies abroad(EG Screening Companies) not subject to Irish Law (Irish Government and HSE not Responsible for their activities)-purely commercial relationship

1(d) US  Screening Companies contract out screening of slides from Irish women to sub-contractors all over the world. US companies can blame sub-contractors for “mistakes”. Irish government have even less control of implementation of “quality assurance” standards!

2)Head of State Agency (EG HSE or Garda Management)) not required to report on “operational matters” to Minister

3) Induction Programme Tells  recruits to new Agency not to report failures to Head of Agency in writing.  Ministers , Civil Servants, Agency Heads, must always deny informing the responsible minister verbally unless Taoiseach and Responsible Minister have given permission to do so in advance.

3a) Where not already in place introduce this practice into relevant Government         Department

4) When scandal breaks Minister says s/he doesn’t know and is “shocked”.

5) Head of Agency says s/he didnt know

6) Minister and Agency Head cannot be expected to resign because they didn’t know and are now required to “clear up the mess”.

7)They will both set up enquiries and investigations. Terms of reference will protect government and agency head from blame. (Scally was precluded from blaming any person for the Cervical Check scandal) .Any questioning of the over-all governance system must also be precluded by terms of reference.

7(a) If necessary choose a scape-goat outside of government  to blame

8) Minister and head of agency are both “bloody raging” and “mad as hell”

9) Head of Government, Minister and Head of Agency will now ride to rescue of victims on a White Horse

10) It all happens again 2 years later and points 3 to 9 above resume!

———————————————————–Donohoe Warns Against Spending Promises in Health And Education even before the Election!  What will happen to the Promises after the Election???https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Irish Times: “There is growing alarm at the centre of Government after Ministers made a series of spending commitments in health and education at recent public service union conferences, according to senior political and official sources.

Senior sources concede there is conflict in Government between the perceived political need to make spending promises in advance of elections, and the requirement to hold firm on budgetary and public pay policy.”—-Irish Times

—————————————————————-Massive amounts of new legislation were drafted recently to deal with possible Brexit outcomes. But the certain emergency faced by CervicalCheck Scandal Victims was not addressed at all by government legislation in Dáil!!!! Government deliberately did not allocate a single lawyer in the Attorney General’s Office to draft a bill to ease the horrific crisis faced by the women concerned. Shocking cruelty by government!!!! Every Government minister FG, Independent Alliance, Independent are guilty.

——————————————————————–Vicky Phelan has criticised Leo Varadkar and his Government for “unacceptable delays” in dealing with the fallout from the CervicalCheck  controversy

https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Would You believe that the Delay is due to lack of Lawyers in Attorney Generals Office to draft the Legislation so Varadkar is not to blame!!!

Irish Times-“Thus, there has been a “huge delay” in setting up the tribunal that will ensure women taking cases do not have to go through an adversarial process in court, she says. With the legislation for this still to be written, Phelan can’t see the tribunal being up and running this year.

The tribunal is “a long time coming,” she says. “The Taoiseach did say that women wouldn’t have to go through adversarial procedures but we’re a long way from that. That’s why I went to meet him last August. He made that promise and didn’t keep it.””

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/vicky-phelan-criticises-varadkar-for-unacceptable-delays-1.3870576

——————————————————–Nothing can be done Directly by Government, The Private Sector Must Take Command of Everything!

Today Ministers Run Everything through Committees First Priority: The Buck Mustn’t Stop With The Minister!

Gene Kerrigan, Sunday Independent, April 14  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Housing? Health? Politicians Can’t Rise to Such Problems…As in Donogh O’Malleys time, bold decisions and courage are needed. Instead rich investors are making fortunes, as they gloat that this is the kind of housing market they dreamed of dominating. This Government has made Ireland the best little country in which to screw millions out of  a screaming  market.

We are governed by conservative politicians, who genuflect to the private sector-it’s part of their DNA, they can’t help it. Nothing can be done directly, the private sector must take command of every project.

This is the Gospel According to FG/FF

To-day Ministers run everything through Committees; They hire private sector consultants, pay them millions to assess and re-assess and to provide tonnes of material that can cover the Minister’s ass.

First priority: the buck mustn’t stop with the Minister. Usually, the forest of consultants and the complexity of private sector contracts ensure that we cannot even the buck itself with a metal detector!

 

————————————————————————————————————–AS THE COVER-UP OF THE COLLAPSE OF HIS TRIAL CONTINUES-DID SEÁN FITZPATRICK KNOW WHERE THE DEAD BODIES OF MINSTERS AND BANKING REGULATORS WERE BURIED? https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Kevin O’Connell, the former legal adviser at the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, wrote to the head of the watchdog this week expressing disappointment at his decision not to provide the Oireachtas Committee with a full report on why the trial of Mr FitzPatrick over concealed loans collapsed.-Irish Times

Irish Examiner-Ian Drennan, Head of The Office of Corporate Enforcement, said “the Wheels Came off in a Catastrphic Way During Trial Of Anglo-Irish Bank Chief Sean Fitzpatrick-Irish Examiner

“Mr Drennan’s meeting with the Oireachtas Committee was delayed for two hours after committee members met in private with legal advisers over whether they could accept a 450-page report from him on ongoing gaps in the ODCE.

While a severely redacted version of the report was published by the Government last year, the full file was not released because of claims it would help defendants.

The Irish Examiner understands the majority of the Business, Enterprise and Innovation Committee now wants to receive the report after being assured by Mr Drennan of no unforeseen fallout.

Committee members also privately confirmed that when they receive the ODCE report they will meet former ODCE legal adviser Kevin O’Connell.

Mr O’Connell, who shredded documents relating to the Sean FitzPatrick trial in a “panic” during the 2015 trial, wrote to the committee last week asking to be allowed to explain his actions.

—————————————————————-Department of HealthChief Medical Officer Contradicts Health Minister Harris on Cervical Check- Harris Promised Women What He Knew He Wouldn’t Deliver as a Political Stunt-Then tried to shift the Blame! https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

From Sunday Business Post  April 7

The state’s chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, did not support the blanket offer for a free smear test for women that was tweeted by Minister for Health Simon Harris last April.

The revelation is likely to intensify the already strong pressure on the embattled Harris, as it contradicts claims he has made in recent weeks.

Harris has repeatedly insisted that his free smear test announcement was supported by Holohan, who is the most senior government adviser on health-related matters.

However, Holohan only supported a restricted offer to concerned GPs, whereas Harris tweeted the free smear test offer to all women across the country.

   —————————————————————–As Epileptic Cork Mother and Her Baby Die Through Government  Neglect in Hospital,Government Guilty of Criminal Negligence Through Under Resourcing of Health Services https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

31 Mothers in CUH Maternity Unit Deprived of Adequate Care By Government of The Super-Rich

Only 1 Senior Nurse, I Agency Nurse , I Newly Qualified Nurse on Duty in MATERNITY UNIT!!!

But Government Attempts to Shift Blame From Itself to the Hospital and the Nurses By Investigating the Hospital and the Nurses only in a Pontius Pilate Operation.

Three nurses were caring for 31 patients at time of mother’s death in hospital

Reviews to explore if understaffing a factor in CUMH deaths of Marie Downey and her baby

Paul Cullen,Irish Times Fri, Mar 29, 2019

 Three nurses were caring for 31 mothers at Cork University Maternity Hospital last Monday on Marie Downey’s ward when she was found dead in her single room and her newborn son Darragh lay critically injured under her.

The staffing on the overnight shift included one permanent nurse, one agency nurse and one newly qualified nurse, according to sources. Nurses at the hospital, who have repeatedly complained of understaffing in recent years, are said to be upset and angered at this week’s events and have again raised staffing issues in a meeting with union representatives during the week. Minister for Health Simon Harris announced yesterday that an independent review of the death of Ms Downey and her baby would take place. This is separate from the hospital’s investigation.

Had epilepsy

In addition to staffing levels, the investigations are likely to examine why Ms Downey, who had epilepsy and had come through a difficult labour, was placed in a single room. As a private patient, she was entitled to be put in a single room if one was available.

The investigations are also likely to examine what checks were made on her while she was in the room, and whether cot sides on her bed – fitted to stop the occupant from falling out – were raised.

It is understood Ms Downey suffered blood loss during labour and was admitted to the high-dependency unit in the hospital thereafter. She was then moved to a regular ward at the weekend.

Nurses took her baby for care on Sunday night to allow her some uninterrupted sleep and returned him early on Monday morning for feeding. Less than two hours later, medical staff arrived on a ward round to find Ms Downey dead on the floor and her baby critically injured beneath her.

It is thought she got out of bed and then suffered a medical episode, which caused her to fall and suffer fatal injuries.

Baby Darragh received extensive resuscitation and was placed on life support but died the following day.

Guidelines

Stress and sleep deprivation, possibly caused by breastfeeding, are known triggers for seizures among lactating women with epilepsy.

Health Service Executive guidelines on the management of women with epilepsy say staff must ensure a “safe environment” for women and their babies while in hospital.

The guidelines also state that women with the condition should have a birth plan to cover “personal and baby safety (to include not to be left alone with baby in the bed)”.

Mr Harris said the HSE review would be conducted under the auspices of Dr Peter McKenna, head of the HSE women and infants health programme.

“The review team will include necessary external expertise in order to allow it to conduct a full and independent examination of the circumstances surrounding this incident,” a spokeswoman said. “This is line with the procedures that are in place with regard to the review of maternal deaths.”

The funeral of Ms Downey, from Kildorrery, Co Cork, takes place on Saturday. Darragh is expected to be buried with his mother.

 

——————————————————————-On February 5, HSE officials held a meeting on what Health Projects to Delay, Cancel, or Change. https://wp.me/pKzXa-1eyHospital overrun led the HSE to change capital plan Contrary to Assurances by Varadkar and Donohoe. 

Thursday, March 14, By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner Political Correspondent

The HSE was forced to “very substantially” change its capital plan for this year, because of the national children’s hospital costs crisis, officials have confirmed. On February 5, the officials held a meeting on what projects to delay, cancel, or change.

Last month, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe insisted that despite the potential €1bn children’s hospital budget overrun, no services would be scrapped. That claim was widely questioned. Mr Donohoe said that while this year’s Government capital plan would be reduced by €99m — including €24m from “small capital projects and repairs” in hospitals — this involved “re-profiling” and not cuts.

 

However, while Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also insisted services would not be affected, the issue is likely to be called into question again, after the HSE confirmed it has been forced to “very significantly” revise its capital plan. In a Freedom of Information Act response to the Irish Examiner, the HSE confirmed its strategic planning team met on February 5 to discuss the implications of the hospital overrun.

In a pre-meeting email to those attending on January 31, HSE national director of strategic planning and transformation, Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe, said:

“This issue at the national children’s hospital will have a very significant impact on our plan, with €50m [subsequently reduced to €24m] required to be identified from within existing projects in 2019, and €100m in each of the following years. There is a need for us to provide clarity on the implications.”D MORE

During the February 5 meeting, the officials examined a document linked to the cuts that may take place, which the HSE has declined to release.

A HSE spokesperson said: “A meeting took place on February 5 to discuss the impact of the additional funding requirements for the national children’s hospital on the HSE capital plan. The main purpose of the meeting was to give direction to HSE Estates, who are responsible for preparing the capital plan. The document presented to the meeting was an initial draft capital plan and has since been substantially revised.

“The HSE’s capital plan is currently being finalised by the HSE and will be published following approval by the Minister for Health.”

 

—————————————————————Government Campaign To Cover-Up Finance Minister’s Knowledge of Hospital Over-Run before Budget Continues https://wp.me/pKzXa-1eyCivil servant Paul Quinn, Chief Procurement Officer in Donohoe’s Department, who failed to reveal children’s hospital budget crisis, to snub PAC grilling-Irish Examiner

 

In pursuit of this government cover-up  we are asked to believe the following outrageously misleading and unbelievable “spins”:

Mr Quinn will not be appearing because he was not chosen for the team by Mr Watt, General Secretary of Donohoe’s Department

Mr Quinn ,who was a member of The Childrens Hospital Procurement Board, was not on the Board as a nominee of Donohoe, but was appointed “in a personal capacity”  by the Harris, Minister for Health.

As such, he was not required to report to Donohoe and did not report before the budget though he was aware of huge over-runs for over two months before the budget.

Note: Mr Quinn is the Chief State Procurement Officer and was involved in a huge state procurement process for the national children’s hospital!!

 Civil servant who failed to reveal children’s hospital budget crisis to snub PAC grilling-Irish Examiner

Wednesday, March 06, 2019 By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith , Irish Examiner Political Correspondent

The State’s Chief Procurement officer,Paul Quinn, will snub demands to explain his role in the children’s hospital costs crisis by refusing to attend a Dail meeting on Thursday.

The Department of Public Expenditure’s head of procurement Paul Quinn will not attend a crunch meeting of the Dail’s public accounts committee on the scandal despite a formal request to do so.

Mr Quinn was a “public interest” representative on the children’s hospital board while the budget crisis was mounting.

However, despite the deepening scandal, the Government has said he failed to tell ministers of what was happening – a claim the PAC is insistent it wants to question him on.

 

Department sources confirmed to the Irish Examiner on Wednesday night that while the PAC has demanded Mr Quinn attends due to his crucial role in the scandal, Department secretary general Robert Watt has the final say on which officials he will bring with him for the meeting.

As such, Mr Watt has decided to bring:

  • principal officer of the office of Government procurement David O Brien (Mr O’Brien, is Junior to Mr Quinn in Donohoe’s Department and, unlike Mr Quinn, was not a member of the Hospital Development Board-PH)
  • principal officer of the Corporate Office, David Feeney
  • assistant principal officer of the Corporate Office, Helen Codd
  • and assistant principal officer of the Investment Projects and Programmes Office, Ciara Morgan

“He isn’t going. It’s always up to the secretary general which officials he brings. He’s not bring him,” a Department source said.

Asked how this can be allowed if the PAC specifically asked Mr Quinn to appear, the source added:

“They asked.”

Mr Watt and Mr Quinn’s decision for Mr Quinn to snub the PAC meeting is likely to infuriate committee members.

While they will be relieved Mr Watt will attend, PAC members have been insistent Mr Quinn also needed to appear for a number of weeks due to ongoing questions over who knew what and when in the children’s hospital scandal.

Chief Procurement Officer did not inform Donohoe of cost escalations at children’s hospital

Irish Examiner, Wednesday, February 27, 2019 , By Daniel McConnell Political Editor

The Government’s Chief Procurement Officer has confirmed he did not inform Minister Paschal Donohoe or his Secretary General about the cost escalations at the Children’s Hospital, even though he sat on its board.

His letter to the PAC comes after the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) earlier this month said he was “obliged” to pass on such information.

Paul Quinn, in a letter to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said he is “fully aware” of his obligations under the code of practice for the governance of state bodies.

 

He confirmed, as chief procurement officer, that he did not personally inform the minister or his top official, Secretary-General Robert Watt, as to the cost escalations.

“I did not inform either the minister or the Secretary-General of that department as I was satisfied that the National Pediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) was addressing the matters and reporting to both the HSE and the Department of Health,” he wrote to PAC members.

He said he did not tell Mr Donohoe because he was and is satisfied that the cost issues which developed over the summer and autumn of last year “were being appropriately addressed by the board and its chairman.”

In his letter, dated February 25 and seen by the Irish Examiner, Mr Quinn said he was satisfied the HSE and the Department of Health as the funder of the hospital were aware of the issues given their “integration into the committee structure” of the hospital.

He said he was also satisfied that the issues were being communicated on an ongoing basis both to the HSE and the Department of Health through the reporting and governance arrangements established.

Mr Quinn also said he accepts he should have disclosed he sat on the board of the hospital in a letter to the committee in January.

I accept in hindsight that I should have advised that I was a member of the NPHDB having been appointed in a personal capacity by the minister for health in 2013.

“My work on the board is separate and distinct from the Office of Government Procurement’s role in the project,” he wrote.

Earlier this month, C&AG Seamus McCarthy said he was obliged to pass on concerns about the project to Government Ministers if he felt they were not being addressed.

The Government has been dogged by controversy as to how the cost of the hospital rose from an estimated €800 million in 2014 to the current figure of €1.73bn.

The Government only became aware of the final figure last November, despite concerns being flagged months earlier by the hospital board.

Labour TD Alan Kelly, at the PAC, said Mr Quinn “should have been reporting the ongoing issues with the cost overruns” to ministers or senior civil servants.

———————————————————-Motion: That This House Has No Confidence in Health Minister Harris (FG)Dáil Voting Analysis

The Dáil divided: Tá (Yes), 53; Níl(No), 58; Staon (registered abstention), 37. Ceann Chomhairle ,1 Absent 9.  Total Number of Dáil Deputies 158.

Absent and did not vote:  Maureen O’Sullivan (Ind. Dublin Central), Carol Nolan(ex Sinn Féin Independent)  Fianna Fáil  7

Níl(No)    Michael Lowery (IND Tipperary), Noel Grealish (IND Galway), Denis Naughten(Ind Roscommon), Minister Zappone (Ind Dublin West), Minister of State Canney(Galway), Independent Alliance( Minister Shane Ross, Ministers of State McGrath, Halligan, Moran), Fine Gael 49

Registered Abstentions : Fianna Fail   37

Tá (Yes) Supporting the Sinn Féin No Confidence Motion. All TDs Other than the Above  53

 ——————————————————–Seamus Healy TD Speaking in Dáil on No Confidence Motion in Minister Harris:

Delays To Provision of Extra Resources To Co Tipperary Health Services including more beds at Clonmel, Cashel and Limerick UH, will not be tolerated. Claw Back Tax Concessions made to Super-Rich Irish individuals in the Last three Budgets instead!!!

Written Copy of  Speech  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Health Minister Harris Should Resign and Take Finance Minister Donohoe With Him!

It is time for Fianna Fáil and the Independents who are supporting the Government, including Deputies Lowry and Cahill, to call it out on this issue and support the motion.

Seamus Healy TD

I will be supporting the motion of no confidence in the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris. Nobody with a whit of common sense believes the Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohue, and the Government were not aware of the national children’s hospital debacle. It is crystal clear that the Minister for Health and the Minister for Finance were fully aware of the huge hospital overrun at the time of the last budget. The Minister for Finance had the chief Government procurement officer on the board of the hospital who was involved at all levels, including financial sub-committee level. The cover-up included confidentiality pledges to ensure the Government would not be formally or officially informed until after the budget. That was because it wanted to continue to give massive tax concessions to its super-rich backers. There is no justification for the Government delaying health and other capital projects and using the excuse of the cost overrun on the children’s hospital project. The hospitals serving my constituency of Tipperary, South Tipperary General Hospital and University Hospital Limerick, are the most overcrowded in the country. No cancellation, no suspension, no long-fingering and no delaying of capital projects will be tolerated. I include the completion and opening of the 40-bed modular unit at South Tipperary General Hospital, the building of a new 50-bed unit at the same hospital, the building of a new 100-bed unit at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Cashel and the building of a 60-bed unit at University Hospital Limerick.

The Irish super-rich are dripping with wealth and gaining more by the day. The Government’s policy is not only not to tax the super-rich but also to give them tax concessions. It is politically the most extreme representative of the super-rich at the expense of citizens. It should bring forward an emergency budget to claw back the €250 million worth of tax concessions given to the super-rich in the last three budgets, including those given to the 25,700 individuals with incomes ranging from €200,000 to in excess of €2 million.

It is time for the Minister for Health to go and to take the Minister for Finance with him and give the public an opportunity to make a decision on the Government in a general election. It is time for Fianna Fáil and the Independents who are supporting the Government, including Deputies Lowry and Cahill, to call it out on this issue and support the motion.

Video of Speech   Paste into Top Line of Browser

————————————————————————————————-

Government Defeated No Confidence Motion in Minister Harris by 58 votes to 53 with 37 Registered Abstentions. There were 9 TDs who did not register a vote though some were seen in the Dáil chamber.

Independents  Michael Lowery (Tipperary), Noel Grealish (Galway West) and Denis Naughten(Roscommon) voted with government as did all members of Independent Alliance and Ministers Katherine Zappone and Sean Canney

Jackie Cahill (Tipperary) was one of the 37 Fianna Fáil TDs who abstained.

Maureen O’Sullivan ( Independent Dublin Central) did not register a vote

 

 ————————————————————MINISTER DONOHOE KNEW OF HOSPITAL OVER_RUN WHEN FRAMING THE BUDGET BUT PRETENDED HE DID NOT KNOW UNTIL AFTERWARDS

Irish Examiner, Tuesday, February 19,

Secret plan to manage hospital fallout made last August  

 

Irish Examiner, Feb 19: “Efforts to clampdown on and control negative publicity around the spiralling costs of the National Children’s Hospital began last August, when the scale of the overrun became apparent to those responsible for delivering it.

In addition to those close to the project being asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, different scenarios for controlling the bad news about the hospital overspend were war-gamed with public relations firm Q4PR.

Confidential minutes of the joint construction and finance sub-committee of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) of August 30 show serious unease about escalating costs and the efforts that got under way to keep the news under wraps.

The meeting took place three days after Health Minister Simon Harris was told of a potential overspend of €391m.”

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform claims that he did not become aware of the cost over-run until after the budget in November.

Paul Quinn, the Chief Procurement Officer in the Office of Government Procurement, was a member of the Development Board and its Finance and Procurement Subcommittees. The Office of Government Procurement is part of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform headed by Minister Paschal Donohoe.

The Comptroller and Auditor General has publicly confirmed that, despite the words of the Finance Minister and the Taoiseach, this senior civil servant was indeed subject to a circular that required civil servants to report matters of grave concern to the relevant Minister.

The Comptroller and Auditor General said: ‘the re-iteration of that circular would apply’.

Government Website  file:///C:/Users/Admin/Downloads/3.10-OGP%20(6).pdf

Office of Government Procurement –Department of Expenditure and Reform Minister Paschal O’Donohoe

Corporate Office :The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) Corporate Office is responsible for corporate governance, the OGP Vote and budget, financial management, programme management of the Procurement Reform  Programme (PRP), corporate planning, OGP performance reporting, internal controls and risk management.

Chief Procurement Officer   Paul Quinn

Principal                        Anne O’Mahony

 ———————————————————–MEDIA NOW ACCEPTING MY EARLIER ANALYSIS OF Cover-Up of HOSPITAL Over-Run Following Leaks from Department of Health

————————————————————————————————————

Blame Shifting, Self Serving, Varadkar Has his Bluff Called By Builders of Childrens’Hospital!! https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

In a statement BAM offers to pull out if Government can get a better tender

In a Dáil debate on the over-run on the Childrens’ Hospital, Varadkar talked about companies “low-Balling” in tenders for projects, and then ramping up the cost. There are two companies he would ban, he said from tendering for future major projects,

Spokesperson for Varadkar says he was speaking “in general” and not of a specific contractor. Would you believe he was not referring to BAM?? If you claim you do, you are a FG supporter

—————————————————————————————————————————————-MORE DELIBERATE DELAY BY GOVERNMENT IN PROVIDING INFORMATION

Failure to give Hospital Cost report to PAC ‘deliberate tactic’-Irish Examiner

Yesterday Taoiseach Leo Varadkar batted away questions from Irish Examiner about the Mazars report on the cost of the National Children’s Hospital, saying he had not read it for two months. https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Irish Examiner, Friday, February 15, 2019 –By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith and Elaine Loughlin

Noting the release on Wednesday(Feb 14)  night, two months late, of the Mazars review of the Childrens Hospital  costs — which revealed a 56% increase in the project’s costs between April 2017 and December 2018 — TDs hit out at the delay in publishing the record.

Health officials have been accused of failing to provide TDs with a detailed report on the cost of building the National Children’s Hospital before a Public Accounts meeting last week, amid ongoing claims they are delaying access to key information.

Members of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee said the “foot-dragging” was a deliberate tactic.

Yesterday Taoiseach Leo Varadkar batted away questions from Irish Examiner about the Mazars report on the cost of the National Children’s Hospital, saying he had not read it for two months.

At the latest PAC meeting, Fianna Fáil’s Sean Fleming, Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy, Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane and Labour’s Alan Kelly raised questions over when relevant files are being released.

Noting the release on Wednesday(Feb 14)  night of the Mazars review of the Childrens Hospital  costs — which revealed a 56% increase in the project’s costs between April 2017 and December 2018 — TDs hit out at the delay in publishing the record.

The TDs said that despite asking the Department of Health, the HSE and the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board itself for all relevant financial records at recent meetings, it was not given the Mazars report, which “answers a lot of the questions”.

The report was concluded in late November and given to the Department of Public Expenditure and Department of Health in early December, at which point it was read by ministers and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

However, it was not given to PAC members before the recent meetings, leading to claims the group is being deliberately left in the dark.

“We’ve had to drag the information out from the Department of Health, and others, in terms of the costs,” Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane told the committee.

How in God’s name did the Department not give us the Mazars report before coming in? The Mazars report nails a lot of these questions.

“The Mazars report highlighted all these weaknesses, and wasn’t given to us until afterwards. It was disingenuous, in my view,” he said, adding it is his belief the apparent delay is “a deliberate tactic” and that officials may need to now come back for “a real meeting” on costs.

Mr Varadkar dismissed questions on the Mazars report at a separate event.

“It’s November since the last time I read the Mazars report, I would have to look over that section again to give you a proper answer… if I am being asked a specific question about a specific report that I read two months ago, I would like to see that again before commenting,” he said to reporters.

“It would be like me asking you a question about an article that maybe you wrote two or three months ago.”

—————————————————————————–Government Didn’t Want To Be Told of Hospital Over-Run AS It would have Endangered Tax Relief in the Lead up to the General Election Which Varadkar Was Then Seeking To Hold—Harris can’t be sacked because Varadkar and Donohoe Were Parties to the Cover-up

Sunday Business Post   Feb 10  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

Some in Health (Harris’Department) believe that DPER (Donohoe’s Department) didn’t want to know about the problems with the National Children’s Hospital as it grappled with its considerable work on the now-annual Health budget overrun.

“His (Minister Harris) political opponents believe the minister was keeping schtum because an election was around the corner. Even a Fine Gael minister wondered: “Was he just hoping this would be the next minister’s problem?” Harris was pushing hard for an autumn poll. He wasn’t the only one in Fine Gael, but he was certainly among the most vocal. Some say the Taoiseach and Donohoe were of a similar mind as Fianna Fáil resisted talks on extending confidence and supply until after the October budget was done.

But while the ministerial silence is puzzling to say the least, what is even more strange is the lack of engagement at a civil service level as the National Children’s Hospital overrun grew. Emails show how Department of Health officials made strenuous efforts to contact their counterparts in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) to seek a meeting on the matter.

This was a busy time for DPER when it came to Health, which was running over budget by some €600 million on the current expenditure side. Some in Health believe that DPER didn’t want to know about the problems with the National Children’s Hospital as it grappled with its considerable work on the now-annual Health budget overrun. In any event, the DPER officials were not, in fact, told of the full scale of the overrun – €450 million – until late November and they were pretty unhappy about it.

 

————————————————————Tricks of Harris and Donohoe On Childrens’ Hospital Over-Run

Note Clauses 3 and 3A in Scheme Below

3) Induction Programme Tells  recruits to new Agency not to report failures to Head of Agency in writing

3a) Where not already in place introduce this practice into relevant Government   Department

“The soon to be released internal memo will also show Department of Health officials made several attempts since September last year to meet Department of Public Expenditure and Reform of Paschal O’Donohoe to discuss the cost overrun. It is understood a meeting was not arranged at this point.”-Irish Independent Feb 8 https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey Another Government Trick- Refuse to hold a formal meeting so that unwanted information cannot be formally transmitted “at this point”.Having already given the promised tax relief to the rich in the budget, Then arrange for the formal transmission of the information. Extra cost can then be taken out of other badly needed projects. By the way, Minister Donohoe had a representative of his Department on the Hospital Board . But he didn’t tell the minister before the Budget either!!.

HSE-Department of Health, Childrens Hospital and Department of Public Expenditure, Irish Water Ltd, Garda Service etc.-Examples of Deliberate Misgovernance

General Plan Designed to Allow Ministers and Governments to Evade Responsibility for Citizens’ Well-Being https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey

1)Set Up  Agency Seperate from Government(Eg HSE) To Deliver “Service” to “Customers” on capitalist market model (Redress for aggrieved customers only through courts without legal aid)

(Irish Times 2014 The head of the Health Service Executive has said the way it was established a decade ago was “like a high speed car crash”.He said this meant the “high-speed amalgamation of the health boards in 2004, which resulted in the HSE when it was established to replace them having a very difficult initial period”.)

1a)   Contract out key functions to private companies at home and abroad to achieve efficiencies (expenditure cuts)! and put service (eg examining smears on slides) “at arms length” from Agency such as HSE. HSE not Responsible!!!

1b) Write into legal contract with private companies that, in return for the business, the company will indemnify the state agency against law suits and that the company will be allowed to demand confidentiality clauses from aggrieved “customers” seeking redress in return for compensation. BUT Now foreign companies requiring Irish state indemnity against law suits to continue service!!!

1 c) Procedures of Companies abroad(EG Screening Companies) not subject to Irish Law (Irish Government and HSE not Responsible for their activities)-purely commercial relationship

1(d) US  Screening Companies contract out screening of slides from Irish women to sub-contractors all over the world. US companies can blame sub-contractors for “mistakes”. Irish government have even less control of implementation of “quality assurance” standards!

2)Head of State Agency (EG HSE or Garda Management)) not required to report on “operational matters” to Minister

3) Induction Programme Tells  recruits to new Agency not to report failures to Head of Agency in writing.  Ministers , civil servants, must always deny informing the responsible minister verbally unless Taoiseach and Responsible Minister have given permission to do so in advance.

3a) Where not already in place introduce this practice into relevant Government         Department

4) When scandal breaks Minister says s/he doesn’t know and is “shocked”.

5) Head of Agency says s/he didnt know

6) Minister and Agency Head cannot be expected to resign because they didn’t know and are now required to “clear up the mess”.

7)They will both set up enquiries and investigations. Terms of reference will protect government and agency head from blame. (Scally was precluded from blaming any person for the Cervical Check scandal) .Any questioning of the over-all governance system must also be precluded by terms of reference.

7(a) If necessary choose a scape-goat outside of government  to blame

8) Minister and head of agency are both “bloody raging” and “mad as hell”

9) Head of Government, Minister and Head of Agency will now ride to rescue of victims on a White Horse

10) It all happens again 2 years later and points 3 to 9 above resume!

RTE: SCALLY REPORT FINDS: There was Nobody in Charge of Cervical Screening Programme and there was no Statutory or legal requirement for Full Disclosure by Clinicians(Medical Doctors) to Patients

Paddy Healy; It wasn’t Due to Errors. It wasn’t Due to Confusion. THE SYSTEM WAS DELIBERATELY PUT IN PLACE BY THE IRISH ELITE AND SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS  https://wp.me/pKzXa-KR

ASSIGNING RESPONSIBILITY TO INDIVIDUALS (INCLUDING GOVERNMENT MINISTERS) WAS OUTSIDE THE  POWER OF SCALLY under THE TERMS OF REFERENCE OF HIS TASK (See Piece on Pay-Off of Tony O’Brien, Former Head of HSE Below)

HSE HEAD PAID OFF !! Did He Know Where The Ministers Buried Their Dead Bodies???

Irish Independent:LABOUR Party leader Brendan Howlin has defended a payment of around €140,000 that is to be made to the outgoing HSE boss Tony O’Brien.
Mr O’Brien, who was on a salary of €192,000, last week bowed to pressure over the cervical cancer screening controversy and stood down as the HSE’s director general.
It later emerged that he will continue to be paid his normal salary until his contract expires at the end of July and he is to receive a once-off payment equivalent to six months’ wages. The sum he is to receive has been put at around €140,000.
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