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Overall costs of audits into National Children’s Hospital over 650,000 euro

Around 653,466 euro is estimated to have been spent on consultants and reviews alone.

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will be located on the campus of St James’s Hospital in Dublin (Julien Behal/PA)

will be located on the campus of St James’s Hospital in Dublin (Julien Behal/PA)

will be located on the campus of St James’s Hospital in Dublin (Julien Behal/PA)

The cost of all independent and internal reports and audits into the National Children’s Hospital is an estimated 653,466 euro.

The estimated cost of all independent and internal reports and audits into the governance and financial controls of the project up to November 2018 is 203,466 euro, according to a document supplied to Public Accounts Committee (PAC) members.

Adding the current PwC report which will cost around 450,000 euro means that a total of around 653,466 euro will have been spent on consultants and reviews alone.

The Government has come under fire for the spiralling costs of the project in recent weeks, the estimated cost for the new hospital – which will be located on the campus of St James’s Hospital in Dublin – has risen from an original estimate of 650 million euro to more than 1.7 billion euro.

The PAC heard last week that it could not be guaranteed that the estimated cost of the new hospital would not exceed 2 billion euro.

The cheapest audit, which was completed in May 2018, was conducted by Eversheds, named: “Review of the Code of Governance Manual (part of Company Secretarial Support”, which cost an estimated 3,000 euro.

The most expensive, outside of PwC’s current report, was conducted by Mazars and completed in November 2018, named: “Internal audit services to close out the review of the GMP Process” and cost 23,268 euro.

Sinn Fein Junior Finance Spokesman Jonathan O’Brien has said that the fact that over 650,000 euro has been spent on private consultants for reports and reviews “is testament to the incompetence” at the heart of the project.

“It also raises the question, what are officials at the Departments of Health and DPER actually doing?” Mr O’Brien said.

“Minister Donohoe has stated that he only became aware of the cost overruns at the National Children’s Hospital in November of 2018.

“The Minister, his department and officials need to explain the full extent of their knowledge of the escalating cost, and how information was escalated at the department.

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“At the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday I first raised the issue of Paul Quinn and his presence on both the Development and both the Finance and Procurement Sub-committees of the hospital. Mr Quinn would have been intimately aware of the overruns and the escalations when and where they happened.

“As the Chief Procurement Officer within Minister Donohoe’s Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, it is difficult to believe that five months elapsed between this information becoming clear to Mr Quinn and it being conveyed to the Minister.

“If this is the case, officials from the department must explain how such poor channels of communication were allowed to prevail to the detriment of the public interest and taxpayers’ money.

“For this reason I have again asked the secretary general of DPER and Mr Quinn to come before the Public Accounts Committee.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said on Sunday that the terms of reference of the PwC report into the overrun would be changed to allow it to find individuals accountable.

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Tom Honan/PA)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Tom Honan/PA)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Tom Honan/PA)

The PwC review, ordered by the Government, initially looked to “establish the underlying root causes” for the spiralling NCH costs.

However, PwC were initially told they must examine the accountability of the parties involved without ascribing blame to any individual.

The Taoiseach announced on Sunday the parameters of the probe were changed after considerable criticism.

However, Minister for Health Simon Harris said the PwC review into the overspending would go “as far as it possibly can” in identifying who was responsible and then the Government would look at sanctions.

Mr Harris made the comments during an interview on RTE Radio 1’s Sean O’Rourke programme, adding: “PwC can’t be sanctioning individuals – that’s not their job”.

Both the Department of Finance and the Department of Health have been contacted for comment.


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