Fresh calls for State’s chief procurement officer to answer Dáil questions over cost of National Children’s Hospital

The State’s chief procurement officer is facing fresh calls to appear before the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee over the escalating cost of the National Children’s Hospital. 

Paul Quinn, who is responsible for securing value-for-money reforms in the State procurement process, resigned from the development board of the children’s hospital project over the summer, but the news of his departure has only emerged in recent days.

Mr Quinn’s role as a board member came under scrutiny earlier this year after it emerged that the cost of the controversial hospital project had spiralled to over €1.4bn with fears the final bill could be closer to €2bn.

READ MORE: €1m PR spending on new children’s hospital is branded ‘unacceptable’

Mr Quinn has faced questions over why he did not notify the Public Expenditure and Reform Minister, Paschal Donohoe about the escalating costs sooner and has previously failed to appear before a PAC hearing into the debacle.

Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry now wants the PAC to hold an urgent meeting with Mr Quinn who continues to be the State’s chief procurement officer.

READ MORE: Colm McCarthy: ‘We must make sure what the Government builds is proved to be worth public money’

“I believe it is of the utmost importance that the Committee have an opportunity to hear from and question Mr Quinn in his capacity as Chief Procurement Officer in the Department in terms of best practice, process and procedures followed in his role,” Mr MacSharry said.

The Sligo-Leitrim TD said given the rising costs of the hospital project he believed the committee should have the “benefit of considering the expertise of Mr Quinn in his national role as Chief Procurement Officer in our assessment of value for money in terms of expenditure on this and other most important infrastructure projects to date.”.

The matter is set to be raised at the weekly meeting of the PAC on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the Department of Public Expenditure said: “Mr Quinn will consider the request if and when it arrives.”

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