Spending watchdog requires investigation into €450m spend on unused PPE and ventilators


There was a name from inside the Dáil’s spending watchdog for a full investigation into public cash wasted on roughly €450m price of unused PPE and ventilators purchased throughout the pandemic.

The Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) heard right this moment that there was no inside evaluate into the €80m spend by the State on ventilators throughout Covid-19 which had been by no means used.

Throughout questioning at a gathering of the PAC, David Maloney who’s Secretary-Basic on the Division of Public Expenditure and Reform, stated he was “not conscious” of any evaluate into how the misspend occurred.

“I am not conscious that there is been a evaluate however in relation to the varied responses to the Covid pandemic, one of many issues the Workplace of Authorities Procurement (OGP) did was that it supplied recommendation and help to the HSE outdoor organisations by way of responding to that,” he stated.

Not happy with that response, Unbiased TD Verona Murphy pressed Mr Maloney on the matter saying it was clear there was no oversight or accountability on tools that was by no means used and ended up being donated to India.

Along with the spend on ventilators, it emerged final 12 months that €375m price of PPE tools purchased in throughout the early levels of the pandemic was unusable.

“I am asking particularly to the €80m spent on ventilators that we by no means acquired to make use of, that we did not get the cash again then and that was subsequently donated to India or different nations. So that is what I imply, there is no worth for cash there,” she stated.

Ms Murphy known as for a “full investigation” into how cash was not spent appropriately saying even with the presence of the OGP big sums of cash had been wasted.

At this level throughout the assembly, the Comptroller and Auditor Basic Seamus McCarthy intervened and knowledgeable members that he’s analyzing the spend of public cash on ventilators and he’ll report in the end. Mr Maloney stated the OGP has delivered financial savings price €500m since its inception.

High civil servant salaries

Detailing the precise salaries of prime civil servants to the Dáil’s spending watchdog may increase “potential authorized points” Mr Maloney stated. Mr Maloney stated the division additionally took motion to supply for the disclosure of the Accounting Officer’s wage within the 2021 account and dedicated to analyzing this challenge additional for 2022.

However he warned that by giving particular particulars, there’s a risk of authorized motion.

“I do know that the committee has subsequently sought additional modifications on this regard, to supply precise ranges of remuneration, moderately than as set out within the round. There’s a have to have regard to potential authorized points which can come up on this occasion,” he stated.

He additionally stated that regardless of these authorized threats, the division is contemplating this additional, with a view to the 2022 account, and presumably additionally as a further word for the 2021 account.

“We’re additionally reviewing the factors raised in respect of higher disclosure round pay, and will likely be partaking in session with different Departments on this challenge shortly,” he stated.

“I do know that the committee has signalled its want to focus on the format of the Appropriation Accounts right this moment. I do know additionally that the committee has written to the division in respect of the way through which a lot of points are handled within the Appropriation Account, together with pay, funding obtained from European funds, and authorized prices paid by departments,” Mr Maloney stated.

“As you’ll know, the division, on foot of earlier requests from the committee, took motion for the 2021 accounts to revise the presentation of authorized prices.

“This can enable for each an examination of prices arising within the 12 months of account, and likewise to reveal the whole prices of instances which had been settled in that 12 months. We’ll, after all, evaluate the affect of that change, together with any views from the committee and the C&AG, to see whether or not additional change is required in 2022.”



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