Dáil Éireann - Volume 622 - 27 June, 2006

Written Answers. - Health Service Contracts.

Mr. Gormley asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the information she has received from the Health Service Executive on its investigation into awarding of contracts in its Dublin north east division; if her attention has been drawn to the scope of the investigation, the personnel responsible for conducting it, and when the investigation will be complete; if her Department will be conducting its own investigation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24648/06]

  Ms Harney: The Health Service Executive’s Internal Audit Unit is currently conducting an investigation into the awarding of contracts in the Dublin North East Region.

Section 25 of the Health Act 2004 requires employees of the Health Service Executive to maintain proper standards of integrity, conduct and concern for the public interest in performing functions under that or any other enactment as employees of the Executive. Section 25 also obliges the Executive to issue codes of conduct for employees other than employees to whom a code of conduct under section 10 (3) of the Standards in Public Office 2001 applies. A code of conduct issued by the Executive for employees must indicate the standards of integrity and conduct to be maintained by them in performing their functions. A person to whom such a code of conduct relates is required to have regard to and be guided by the code in performing his or her functions.

Under the HSE’s procurement policy, which was published this year it is stated that it is HSE policy to maintain its high reputation for ethical behaviour and fair dealing in the context of its business. The HSE code of conduct and behaviour for staff applies in the context of all HSE procurement.

As the issue raised by the Deputy is a matter for the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004, my Department has asked the [896] Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to respond directly to the Deputy.