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HSE CEO powers to approve high-value contracts remains in place

A delegation of all necessary authority to the HSE CEO to approve expenditure associated with the Covid-19 pandemic remains in place, an Executive spokesperson has said. “The delegation is subject to board oversight, has been discussed at board level, and remains in place until such time as it is revoked by the board of the HSE,” they outlined.

As previously reported by the Medical Independent, Mr Paul Reid can approve Covid-19 contracts worth over €10 million and accept ‘gifts’ to the HSE exceeding €100,000 without board approval. Contract approvals would be subject to the agreement of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and Department of Health.

According to the HSE, typical examples of the CEO approval of contracts over the course of the pandemic would include those for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and separate contracts for the supply of face masks; and contracts for the provision of Covid-19 testing services and for a dual amplitude Covid-19 testing system.

“The value of contracts with individual suppliers is commercially-sensitive information. The CEO did not approve any gifts.” Asked if the delegation had been cited in any audits of expenditure, the HSE spokesperson said: “The amended delegation to the CEO was cited in the audit of PPE undertaken by KPMG (June 2021). However, it was referenced not in the context of ensuring value for money, but rather in the context of the sign-off of purchase orders.”

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