Sunday 26 January 2020

HSE criticised over failure to fill post

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

A FAILED HSE campaign to fill a €194,000-a-year director's post has been strongly criticised as "time consuming and costly" in a top-level audit.

The HSE announced in late- 2008 that it had hired the private consultants Pricewaterhousecoopers to recruit the senior executive who would be Director of Operations.

But internal Health Service Executive wrangling and a downturn in finances meant the long and costly trawl ended with the job being shelved.

Now an independent audit by the Commission for Public Services, which regulates recruitment across the public service, has criticised the way in which the HSE carried out the process.

The audit report concluded that while the decision was ultimately a matter for the HSE, "the timing of the termination of this process was far from ideal given the time and resources committed".

Although the audit report does not refer to the internal wrangling over the post, it is already known that it led to a disagreement between HSE chief Brendan Drumm and the board. The board had decided to withdraw Prof Drumm's delegated authority to make appointments, a move which Prof Drumm disagreed with.

However, the board insisted it should be allowed approve the appointments.

During the search for the right candidate, Pricewaterhousecoopers was hired at a cost of €18,700 at a time of cutbacks in the HSE.

Irish Independent

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