Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Public Accounts Committee

Business of Committee

9:00 am

Photo of Alan KellyAlan Kelly (Tipperary, Labour)
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First of all I think the clerk should forward this correspondence to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health because there is an element of crossover here. Second, with regard to the section 38 and section 39 organisations, which I have been raising for over a year, this is complete and utter garbage. It is actually riddling the books. A number of these organisations are on the edge and cannot sustain themselves. Basically, what happens is the HSE gives them so-called loans or cash advances to function. This used to happen after the summer but it is now happening in the first or second quarter of the year. Are they insulting our intelligence? They are trying to insult our intelligence by saying that this will be cash neutral. It is not going to be cash neutral. These organisations have huge deficits. They are basically doing the work of the State but they have been starved of resources. In many cases, their services are weakening and in some cases, they are going to close down. There is an avalanche of these issues coming. In advance of our meeting and in order to help this committee in its deliberations and questioning, I want those figures broken down further. I would also like a breakdown of how much has been given in cash advances over the past two years, in tabular form, to each organisation and when the advances were given. In another column, I would like to see the total spend per year for each organisation in 2017, 2018 and the following year. This is just rolling on and getting worse every year. We need that information in advance. We do not want to be asking for it at the meeting and having the witnesses tell us that they will come back to us with the information. Let us ask for it in advance and then we will be able to go through it cumulatively and individually for these organisations.