Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 5 February 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach
I am not looking at the wider general aspects of the use of public money. I am trying to determine what the Minister's specific responsibility was. He mentioned that he had a responsibility to track this project. I understand that monthly reports were supposed to be made on this project. The Minister had a responsibility to track this project but his chief procurement officer knew that there was an overrun months in advance and did not tell him or the Department. I am not sure if the Minister's tracking flagged that, however the tracking takes place. Deputy Donohoe's colleague, the Minister for Health, was aware of this. He did not tell him and obviously did not tell the Department of Finance. Did the Minister for Finance's tracking process pick that up? The Department of Health was informed of it but obviously the Department of Finance and its tracking process were not. Can the Minister explain how a project costing close to €2 billion is tracked? What is reported? What information does the Minister receive? What does he have to alert the Cabinet to? How come the Minister's tracking did not pick any of this up for months, despite having one of the most senior officials in the Department as chairperson of the finance committee and the Minister for Health and the Department of Health all having knowledge of an overrun?