Home > Uncategorized > Neo-Liberal Governance Scheme HOW TO ENSURE THAT GOVERNMENT AND SENIOR ADMINISTRATORS CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING

Neo-Liberal Governance Scheme HOW TO ENSURE THAT GOVERNMENT AND SENIOR ADMINISTRATORS CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING

Deep Cynicism and Savagery By Neglect to CervicalCheck Scandal Victims By Varadkar and his Government.

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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?

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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, 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

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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

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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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