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 Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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Deputy Donnelly and I will both acknowledge that PwC has a role to play on the questions of who knew what, when and where.

I appreciate the Deputy acknowledging that the figures, including the additional €61 million, have been discussed and shared with this committee during the hearings. I hope he understands and accepts my explanation that this was a different situation from the one in which we found ourselves in August 2018 when it was clear that work would have to be done, and decisions made, by Government.

I want to make a slight tweak to something the Deputy said. While the meeting he referred to took place in August 2017, I was informed in September 2017. That is to be accurate, not to be pedantic. I was told on that occasion by my Secretary General, who may wish to add something about this. That is also referenced in the briefing note given to the committee last week. The NPHDB had been told to put in place a programme of work to mitigate those costs. It was also more specific than that. The board was just told to try and manage the costs. Issues such as philanthropy, risk minimisation, offset through value engineering savings, offset through other design or scope changes where appropriate and the deployment of contingency were all mentioned. I was told, in September 2017, that there was a cost pressure but that it would be managed, the board had been told to manage it, and there was no proposal to go to Government about it. The next-----