Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said the review of escalation in costs associated with the National Children’s Hospital project demonstrates a glaring political unwillingness to pursue any kind of meaningful accountability. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Price WaterHouse Cooper (PWC) Report on the cost escalations was finally published:
“This Report, like the site of the National Children’s Hospital itself, will prove to be nothing more than a black hole into which we have poured significant amounts of public money for no good purpose.
The PWC Report is explicitly clear, that of the 9 Organisations it interviewed during the process, not one of them included Connolly for Kids or any of those Senior Clinicians who have campaigned and forensically deconstructed the arguments for St James for years.
There was not a single interview with any of the tens of thousands of families affected.
What is most revealing however is that PWC, in its recommendations says:
“We have considered and agree with recommendations made by Mazars in their reports relating to cost escalation and governance. The recommendations that we have set out below in this report do not replace those.”
So effectively we have paid out €600, 000 plus to find out what we already knew.
In terms of lessons learnt, the PWC Report also recommends what it calls ‘Ownership’ – which they say is a process under which “each risk should be allocated to an individual owner and that risks should not be assigned to bodies or groups of individuals.”
Yet this report does nothing of the kind in terms of holding people accountable or getting them to take ownership.
If we compare this to the scandal engulfing the FAI, where a €100,000 ‘loan’ and poor financial governance has led to the withdrawal of funding, then the selective nature of accountability in this State becomes even more obvious,” concluded Deputy McGrath.