September 23, 2021
HSE must come clean on procurement blunders – Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee, Imelda Munster TD, has called on the HSE to come clean on the scale of procurement blunders that they are clearly aware of.

The HSE returned to the Committee this week following last week’s hearing, which centred primarily on issues relating to the procurement of defective medical technology or personal protection equipment during the pandemic.

Teachta Munster said:

“Today I presented officials from the HSE with a redacted HSE list of hand sanitiser products that they had concerns regarding.

“Acknowledging that some were possibly donations or had been cleared for use, I asked officials for the number of those products that had been purchased but not cleared for use, and the cost of such. Officials were unable to answer these questions.

“I believe the idea that the CEO of the HSE would not have that figure to hand is absolutely farcical.

“This follows on from a meeting with the HSE last week whereby, in my opinion, the Committee was led to believe that there would not be further similar revelations of procurement blunder, as well as receiving an indication that two specific products met world health standards.

“While it was apparent at the time that one such product never did, the same FOI makes clear that as recently as June the Department of Agriculture were still querying if the vendor of the second product was still attempting to get it cleared for usage.

“At a time when the Department of Health itself is obfuscating the work of the Public Accounts Committee, through failing to provide requested reports on both the National Children’s Hospital and Fair Deal scheme, this compounds the appearance of a lack of transparency.

“Regardless, I have submitted further Freedom of Information requests, although I suspect I will have to submit more again to get to the bottom of what was spent, and to find out the truth.

“The HSE could save itself a good bit of trouble and do something to restore its strained credibility if it simply released this information now.”

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