This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020
Advertisement

HSE accused of producing new information on live TV 'for dramatic effect'

Fianna Fáil’s Seán Fleming asked that the PAC receive new information the HSE has uncovered prior to officials appearing before TDs on the public spending watchdog.

Seán Fleming speaking at the Public Accounts Committee this morning
Seán Fleming speaking at the Public Accounts Committee this morning
Image: Screengrab via Oireachtas TV

THE HEALTH SERVICE Executive (HSE) has been accused of disclosing new information on live television “for dramatic effect” at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) this morning.

Fianna Fáil’s Seán Fleming asked that the PAC receive new information the HSE has uncovered prior to officials appearing before TDs on the public spending watchdog.

His comments came after details of former CRC chief executive Paul Kiely’s €743,000 pay-off were disclosed for the first time during a dramatic public hearing last month.

The HSE wrote to the committee prior to that public meeting to reveal that Kiely’s remuneration may have been more than previously disclosed, but did not give any specific details.

The details only became clear in public session on 16 January when the HSE’s Barry O’Brien said that Kiely’s retirement package consisted of €200,000 tax-free lump-sum and a €273,336 taxable payment with an additional €268,689 meaning a total of €742,025 was paid out – a revelation that shocked TDs and the public.

Speaking this morning, Fleming asked that there be a “practice in future that where the HSE have significant information that it is circulated to us in advance”.

He said that HSE seemed to be “producing information for dramatic effect” and said this was “not good practice” given the executive had the information in their possession for days before they came before TDs, but “waited until they came here on live television”.

“I do not like the practice of some of these people using the Public Accounts Committee as a platform for a different agenda when they get the TV cameras on them,” Fleming said.

The PAC also heard this morning that the HSE is currently compiling a report on whether Section 38 health organisations are in compliance with public pay policy. The committee was due to get full details of this by the end of last month but is still waiting for a response.

PAC clerk Ted McEnery told members that that the HSE is compiling a report and said that executive officials will be before members the week after next.

Committee chair John McGuinness asked that information be sought about when the reply might be forthcoming.

‘Shameful’: Ex-CRC chief got €473k retirement pay-off – all of it from charitable funds

The day before: Former CRC chief’s retirement package may be more than previously disclosed

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

Read next:

COMMENTS (6)