Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health

Quarterly Update on Health Issues: Discussion
Quarterly Update on Health Issues: Discussion

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I have one other question. Time seems to be very short. I was just beginning to enjoy myself. The main question for the benefit of the State, the client and the committee involves giving some indication as to what we have learned in this process. For example, how do we get professionals who, having read a detailed specification, can come up with a bill of quantities that gives a clear indication of what the costs will be and then we can put the guaranteed maximum price in place? If we do not learn something from it, we could find ourselves back in the same position.

The phrase "who knew what, who said what to whom and when?" comes from the McCarthy investigations in the US a long time ago. What that means is that by asking a series of confusing questions in rapid order, one can implicate the friends and relatives of all the people who are being questioned in a way that proves a point that is extremely vague to say the least and only because it is obvious. The most recent effort in this regard was the investigation into the Garda Commissioner by the Committee of Public Accounts where several allegations were made about serious wrongdoing and knowledge by the Commissioner and the Minister of the day. This is a serious issue. Playing politics is one thing but this is a serious matter that we do not want to be repeated. It transpired that there was no basis for the allegations or supposition and all that was happening was a tourist project on behalf of people who wanted to make a name for themselves at the expense of somebody else. If the Committee of Public Accounts goes down that road once again, there will be repercussions. Could the Minister answer the question about the learning curve?


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