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Scandal of New Children's Hospital Spending overrun - will Harris resign? Of course not

pedagogus

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So why is Holles street going ahead before a new maternity hospital at James? I suspect there is a lot of medical politics involved in these decisions but its interesting that no politicians are advocating prioritising a maternity hospital at James over Holles street, its not so long since they were howling about giving the nuns the new Holles street.
I think you have answered your own question. Medical politics! That also explains the choice of the difficult St.James's site. Harris is a light weight who may bluster but hasn't got what it takes to stand up to a relatively small group of consultants.
 


wombat

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His point is that the type of fixed price contract used in this case was inappropriate for the project (which PWC have also concluded), and that he can see lots of opportunities for more gouging by the contractor.

Do you disagree with this analysis?
I'm curious as to where the gouging comes in, my understanding is that the current contractor was low bidder. If they bid on an incomplete scope, they will be entitled to be paid for extra work which has nothing to do with gouging. BTW the argument that it was a mistake to separate the site prep contract from the main construction is an opinion, its not unusual to do so, in fact a large pharma project in Cork was cancelled because the site prep costs were too high.
 

SPN

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I think you have answered your own question. Medical politics! That also explains the choice of the difficult St.James's site. Harris is a light weight who may bluster but hasn't got what it takes to stand up to a relatively small group of consultants.
Them boys have bested heavyweights like; Brian Cowen, Michael Noonan, Mary Harney, Leo Varadkar and James Reilly.

Lightweights like Mehole Martin and Harris are easy pickings.

It doesn't matter what Minister you put in there, the Mandarins will always have the power to fcvk their day up.
 

wombat

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It is about the ability to read a contract and understand what it means.

PwC agree with Wallace.
I don't think they do, Wallace says 500 million can be saved by rebidding the current work scope, PwC say it will cost more. My opinion is that unless the scope of work is reduced, savings will be minimal.
 

SPN

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I'm curious as to where the gouging comes in, my understanding is that the current contractor was low bidder. If they bid on an incomplete scope, they will be entitled to be paid for extra work which has nothing to do with gouging. BTW the argument that it was a mistake to separate the site prep contract from the main construction is an opinion, its not unusual to do so, in fact a large pharma project in Cork was cancelled because the site prep costs were too high.

 

SPN

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I don't think they do, Wallace says 500 million can be saved by rebidding the current work scope, PwC say it will cost more. My opinion is that unless the scope of work is reduced, savings will be minimal.
Wallace and PwC both say it will cost more because of the flaws they can see in the contract.

Exploiting these flaws may not be "gouging" to you, but it is to me.
 

wombat

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I think you have answered your own question. Medical politics! That also explains the choice of the difficult St.James's site. Harris is a light weight who may bluster but hasn't got what it takes to stand up to a relatively small group of consultants.
Just had a thought, we were told that the Mater was chosen because it was in Bertie's constituency. Supposing James street had been passed over for Blanchardstown, would anyone have believed that it was not because Blanchardstown was in Varadkar & Burton's constituency?
 

wombat

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Exploiting these flaws may not be "gouging" to you, but it is to me.
Depends what the flaws are, maybe it has to do with having to pay employees PRSI?
 

ruman

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I think you have answered your own question. Medical politics! That also explains the choice of the difficult St.James's site. Harris is a light weight who may bluster but hasn't got what it takes to stand up to a relatively small group of consultants.
It seems bizarre given we are having 2 build a new maternity and childrens hospital that we would not build them together on the same site. Even more bizarre that they were offered a greenfield site and refused it. Given co location is an important criteria its a no brainer if patients were the priority.

Its clear that we have a power grab by management and senior medical staff at the existing St James. Anyone with half a brain knowsJames was undercosted to ensure selection.

Whats appalling is the lack of media questioning of the original site decision. The PWC report should have looked at the possibility of moving to an alternative location. Once they decided not to the report was a waste of time, you may as well have got 600k of taxpayers money and set fire to it.
 

ruman

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Just had a thought, we were told that the Mater was chosen because it was in Bertie's constituency. Supposing James street had been passed over for Blanchardstown, would anyone have believed that it was not because Blanchardstown was in Varadkar & Burton's constituency?
Open to correction but was under the impression the decision made when James Reilly was Minister.
 

ruman

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Believe who you like, I simply asked, on the basis that the new children's hospital is already over budget, why people think its a good idea to start building a maternity hospital on the same site when the Vincents/Holles st. hospital hasn't started. The reason I am a conservative poster is because I know who pays for all state spending and I think my taxes are already too high.
You're correct. Neither should be built on the site. They should be built together on the same greenfield site. The best solution for patients and undoubtably the cheapest for taxpayers.

We're not doing this because management and medics at the existing James wish to increase their power base.
 

Orbit v2

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Let's not forget that Wallace's ideas of efficiency include dodging VAT and employee pension contributions, before we start lionising him.
Wallace hasn't a fckin clue. The people who ran this project up to now were experienced in construction but not health care, like Wallace. So, that gob shyte has no better idea how it should be run.
 

ruman

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Wallace hasn't a fckin clue. The people who ran this project up to now were experienced in construction but not health care, like Wallace. So, that gob shyte has no better idea how it should be run.
Thats not my impression of where the failure has been. We seem to have those with a health backround providing a "shopping list" with no clue as to what is driving costs. Not entirely sure a backround in health is any use in managing the initial tendering and construction although admitedly there may be some benefit to managing running costs later on.

Wallace personal experience at this stage would be a lot more use than a hospital manager or medical consultants who seem to be the main drivers.
 

SPN

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Wallace hasn't a fckin clue.
Yet he became a millionaire by bringing in projects on budget and on time.

Curious that.



The people who ran this project up to now were experienced in construction but not health care, like Wallace.
There were three estimates of how much copper piping was needed, ranging from 10km to 24km.

The 10km was the number that came from "the people who ran this project". They missed out on half the amount that was needed.

Nothing whatsoever to do with "health care".

Simple basic stuff that a QS learns to do on their work placement.



So, that gob shyte has no better idea how it should be run.
He was able to read the contract and spot the obvious problems whenever the Civil Servants who are on massive pay, perks and pensions were playing their usual three monkeys game with tax payers' hard earned.
 

jmcc

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Let's not forget that Wallace's ideas of efficiency include dodging VAT and employee pension contributions, before we start lionising him.
Well at least he wasn't like Fine Gael paying people in cash.
"Fine Gael admits tax evasion over period of 9 years
Fine Gael paid £111,110 to the Revenue in 1999 in respect of unpaid PAYE and PRSI, interest and penalties arising from the payments. "


Party of fiscal rectitude?
 

wombat

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Yet he became a millionaire by bringing in projects on budget and on time.

Curious that.
There were a lot of geniuses who made millions during the building bubble, do you think more of them should be employed by the state to solve all spending problems? National broadband - surely Lowry has the expertise to sort that out?
 

wombat

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He was able to read the contract and spot the obvious problems whenever the Civil Servants who are on massive pay, perks and pensions were playing their usual three monkeys game with tax payers' hard earned.
So he says.
 

Lagertha

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I don't have any faith in any Irish politician, that being said removing Harris from his position would achieve nothing, in fact it might make things worse. I think we all know that there will be an even bigger overspend, my concern is that when they have to trim money from the budget it will be the actual practical services that are needed in the hospital whose spending will be hit. The best course of action is to get the hospital built and not use it as a political toy to point score. The next election will see FG/FG getting well and truly spanked by the electorate.
 

wombat

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The best course of action is to get the hospital built and not use it as a political toy to point score. The next election will see FG/FG getting well and truly spanked by the electorate.
I never blame a dog for barking and politicians will attack their opponents when given the opportunity. I remember Barry Desmond attacking Knock Airport when it was planned. He represented Dun Laoghaire so it was quite popular to say it should be cancelled. No politician has said the hospital should be cancelled or even postponed so it can be moved. The sad fact is that we are stuck with the current proposal and no amount of anger or indignation will change that.
 

Orbit v2

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Yet he became a millionaire by bringing in projects on budget and on time.

Curious that.
He went bust owing 30 million to the banks and VAT to the taxman.

There were three estimates of how much copper piping was needed, ranging from 10km to 24km.

The 10km was the number that came from "the people who ran this project". They missed out on half the amount that was needed.

Nothing whatsoever to do with "health care".

Simple basic stuff that a QS learns to do on their work placement.
Tom Costello was the chair who stepped down. This was his bio:
Biography of NCH board chair said:
Mr Costello is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of Engineers Ireland (C.Eng FIEI). Mr Costello established a project management consultancy business in July 2012. He is a former Managing Director (Ireland) of John Sisk & Son Ltd. During his tenure there, he directed the Sisk team on the successful completion of many of the largest and most significant projects built in Ireland.
Are you suggesting that Wallace was a better candidate than Costello?

And this is what the report said:

PWC report said:
Although the NPHDB and NPH Executive had
extensive experience of major and complex
project development, specific healthcare
infrastructure development experience was more
limited. This experience was important in the
sub-committee structures but was stretched,
as a result reliance was placed on the expertise
brought by the Design Team and effective
oversight, performance management and
instruction appeared to be challenging.
How would Mick Wallace have helped that situation?
He was able to read the contract and spot the obvious problems whenever the Civil Servants who are on massive pay, perks and pensions were playing their usual three monkeys game with tax payers' hard earned.
Like everyone else, he was wise after the event. I didn't hear him offering his expertise before hand either. Sounds like he has other fish to fry now anyway, with the EU parliament (along with Clare Daly, won't that be nice for them?)
 


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