Dáil debates

Thursday, 20 January 2011

4:00 am

Photo of John MoloneyJohn Moloney (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)

I accept Deputy Shatter is not being critical of any specific law firm. I thank him for raising this issue and giving me the opportunity to clarify the position on the new arrangements put in place by the HSE for the provision of legal assistance to it.

Neither the Minister for Health and Children nor her Department has a role in sanctioning HSE procurement. This is a matter for the HSE and its board. The HSE has its financial and procurement policy which sets out authority levels for entering into contracts, up to and including board level, for larger contracts.

The HSE advised the Department that on 13 November 2009 a contract notice was dispatched to the Official Journal of the European Union which announced the start of a procurement process for the delivery of a concessionary type model for legal services.

The contracting model is two-tiered. To start with, the model will involve a total of 35 law firms. All these law firms have been qualified by the HSE to deliver services through four geographical panels, based on the four HSE administrative areas. The law firms on these panels, known as member firms, will be used to deliver advices-----


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