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HSE audit outlines shocking wastes of public cash

A report to be presented to the Public Accounts Committee outlines massive waste of HSE training funds.

The report will be presented to the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday.
The report will be presented to the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday.

A REPORT to be presented to the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee on Thursday will outline serious breaches of financial oversight and waste of taxpayer funding, according to reports this evening.

RTÉ News, which claims to have obtained a copy of the report ahead of its official publication, says the report discovered that €2.5m of a €60m budget for training programmes had been paid into an account controlled by SIPTU, but which the union’s head office claims not to have controlled.

Elsewhere, €348,000 had been claimed in expenses for which ‘inadequate documentation’ had been submitted, while the fund’s managers had no records of the 31 foreign trips outlined in the report.

€1,586 was spent on a retirement party and €12,500 on taxis. There were also charges for mobile phones, laptops, gifts and broadband connections.

A SIPTU official had paid for some of the foreign trips, RTÉ reports, and sought reimbursement for them through ‘unitemised’ invoices.

The report was compiled in June and refers to irregularities in spending in a SKILL training programme meant for HSE employees in lower grades. The auditors have told the HSE to recover whatever funds it can, and that it should reexamine how it offers cash to trade union activity.

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Gavan Reilly

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