Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to immediately dismiss all members of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPDHB). Deputy McGrath was speaking as the scramble to evade political accountability for the massive costs increases associated with the project continue, with the Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Robert Watt refusing to appear before the Oireachtas Health Committee:
“The Code of Governance Manual for the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board is absolutely clear; ‘The Board shall be accountable to the body public and the Minister (through the Department of Health), for its activities, its stewardship of public funds and the extent to which key deliverables and objectives have been met.”
In light of that, and given what we now know about the obscene level of incompetence and lack of oversight, it is absolutely vital that Minister Harris invokes his statutory authority and fire this dreadful Board.
Even by the standards of the Boards Guiding Principles as laid down in the Code of Governance, the current members have been an abject failure.
The Guiding Principles are clear: The Board shall observe the highest standards of probity in relation to the stewardship of public funds and the exercise of its functions; maximise value for money, through ensuring that duties are delivered in the most economical, efficient and effective way
Can anyone seriously suggest that this Board’s actions have been economical, efficient and effective?
If Minister Harris truly believes that the same Board who walked us into this unmitigated disaster are the same Board who can successfully manage the project going forward, then his judgement is even worse than I thought.
He must fire this Board immediately and bring in people who can provide actual and effective oversight,” concluded Deputy McGrath.