Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
National Children's Hospital
209. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the circumstances surrounding the appointment of an official in his Department to the national paediatric development board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6655/19]
210. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of his officials that have been appointed to the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board since its creation in 2007; the dates these officials were appointed to the board; if he was required to approve these appointments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6658/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 209 and 210 together.
The establishment of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, NPHDP, and the appointment of its members is a matter for the Minister for Health.
The Chief Procurement Officer was appointed in a personal capacity to the NPHDP in 2013 for a five year term by the then Minister for Health. He was re-appointed in 2018 by the current Minister for Health. As Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, I was not required to approve this appointment.
The Department of Health, as the accountable Department for the Children’s Hospital Project, established the reporting and governance arrangements for the project through which the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board provides regular updates to it on the project.
As Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, I have responsibility for public procurement policy. However, my Department does not procure public works contracts and has no role in supervising the procurement process of the national children’s hospital project. It is the relevant sanctioning and contracting authority that has responsibility for the management of the tendering process for a public works contract and the administration of the contract once it is awarded.
211. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the date he was first informed of the cost overruns at the national children’s hospital; if he was informed by his officials or officials from another Department; if it was from within his Department, the division that informed him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6667/19]
I've been involved in a number of discussions around the Children’s Hospital over the last few years. The first full assessment of the cost overrun and the reasons for it was received by my Department in the form of a report from the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board submitted by the Department of Health on the 19 November. My Department reviewed the report and met with the Department of Health to discuss it on the 23 November and made a formal submission to me on 26 November.