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Whistleblower report: HSE consultancy contracts 'awarded to former employees'

The issue is set to be discussed at the Public Accounts Committee.

16/12/2014. HSE National Summits on Social Care Director General of HSE Tony O'Brien Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE HSE WILL face a grilling from the Dáil’s spending watchdog after a new whistleblowers report found that some consultants were hired without the correct tendering process, and that some were former HSE employees.

This is on top of the draft Comptroller and Auditor General report, leaked earlier this month, that took issue with the expenses claimed by some of the executive’s staff.

The whisteblower’s report, first raised through the HSE’s protected disclosure mechanism, is due to be discussed by HSE officials with the Public Account Committee on April 2.

It details issues where people who previously worked for the HSE were employed on consultancy contracts.

In some of these circumstances, the contract should have put out to competitive tender.

RTÉ News has detailed that one report investigating abuse allegations at a cost of €58,000 was carried out by a consultancy company staffed by former employees.

Labour TD and member of the Public Accounts Committee Joe Costello said a “broad range of questions in relation to good governance” have been raised.

“We want to know what sanctions were put in place”, he told TheJournal.ie.

It’s not just good enough for the issues to be raised. What we want to know is what’s going to happen.

“There hasn’t been the strictest observance of good governance within the HSE.”

Irelands Presidency Of The European Union Joe Costello Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Costello described the details of both reports as “very serious”.

These are very large sums of taxpayer’s money being spent by the agency with the biggest budget in the country.

The HSE is due to formally respond to the Comptroller and Auditor General report in the coming weeks, and no comment will be made on the whistleblowers report before officials appear before the PAC on 2 April.

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Nicky Ryan

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