Full audits required to account for €1bn spend on s.38 agencies
Speaking in the Dail today, Alan Kelly asked Health Minister Simon Harris to provide an up-to-date list of section 38 entities which receive funding from the HSE and for a full breakdown of the funding each organisation received from 2013 to 2015.
He said: “I’m calling on the Minister to publish all HSE audits of section 38 organisations and I believe that he must ensure that a representative of the HSE serves on the board of each of these entities on at least a pro tem basis. This is necessary to ensure transparency and to restore public confidence in how this money is spent.
“Today I have read some very worrying documentation related to the HSE and a particular section 39 organisation that will be discussed on Friday at the Committee of Public Accounts.
“There is a major crisis in the transparency of funding organisations under sections 38 and 39 of the 2004 Health Act.
“I acknowledge the fact that the Minister today published some basic details of the expenditure that is funnelled through these organisations, but frankly, this doesn’t go anywhere near far enough.
“Between 2013 and 2016, these agencies will be funded to the tune of over €1bn in total, which is a staggering figure. That’s why I believe we need to see fully audited accounts for each and every one of them, and I would ask the Minister in a spirit of transparency, to ensure that this happens.
“He should also he consider pro tem putting a representative of the HSE on the board of each of the organisations, to ensure public confidence in the spending of money.
“The supervision of these organisations agencies in question is a source of significant public concern. If an organisation such as Console can get away with what it got away with, even though it was receiving such a volume of funding, we must look at the incredible volume of funding being received by many other organisations.
“Don’t get me wrong, they do fantastic work but we must ensure there is public confidence.”