Thursday, 7 February 2019
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
National Children's Hospital Expenditure
19. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his attention has been drawn to the fact that officials in his Department voiced concerns regarding the National Children’s Hospital in 2017 on cost and governance; if these concerns were relayed to him at the time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5946/19]
20. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he has discussed offsetting the growing costs of the National Children’s Hospital by using funding for other health development projects with the Minister for Health as suggested by his officials in November 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5947/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 19 and 20 together.
In April 2017 the Department of Health submitted a Memorandum to Government which included a section on the proposed new governance arrangements for the NCH project. This proposal included the establishment of the Children’s Hospital Project and Programme Board, to be chaired by the Secretary General of the Department of Health, and with responsibility for monitoring the progress of the Children’s Hospital Project and Programme against the agreed parameters for the programme in relation to timeline, scope and funding.
As the Deputy is aware in advance of any Memorandum being taken to Government there is engagement between Departments relating to the Memorandum.
The Government took a decision to proceed with the new Children’s Hospital project on the basis of this Memorandum.
The role of my Department is in respect of the monitoring of overall expenditure by Departments, and not the oversight of individual projects. The management and delivery of individual projects within allocation is primarily the responsibility of the relevant sponsoring Department and Minister.
My Department is engaging with the Department of Health and other Departments on how the increased costs of the project will be managed within the overall agreed NDP capital allocations. When that engagement is complete, I expect to revert to Government with further proposals in relation to how the increased costs of the project will be managed within the existing agreed annual NDP ceilings.