'Negotiation' course cost department €30,000

Tue, Sep 25, 2012, 01:00

THE CASH-STRAPPED Department of Health has spent more than €30,000 sending four officials to attend an exclusive six-day course on “Negotiation” at one of the world’s most prestigious universities.

The spend of €30,975 for the four officials to attend the executive Oxford programme on negotiation at the Saïd Business School at the UK university is part of €245,750 the Department of Health has spent on education and training for its officials since the start of last year.

It has cost the taxpayer €8,179 or €1,363 per day for each department official to attend the six-day residential course this year that counts BBC news correspondent Lyse Doucet as one of its speakers who talks on “Negotiating in Global Trouble Spots”.

A brochure for the course states that participants will be better equipped to develop and use the five skills of negotiation: information gathering; decision making; persuasion; innovative thinking and implementation/ enforcement.

The course is set on the purpose-built Saïd Business School which offers to course participants “fine dining from an award-winning kitchen, a full accommodation service and sports facilities”.

The brochure states that “the programme structure is a mix of interactive lectures, discussions, case studies, role-play, simulations and informal seminars, all led by world-class academics and practitioners”.

The course runs for one week in July and one week in September each year.

The figures supplied by Minister for Health James Reilly in a written Dáil response to Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams confirms that two department officials attended the course this year and two last year.

In his Dáil reply, Dr Reilly confirmed that €161,285 was spent on officials attending courses, seminars and conferences in 2011 and €84,465 to date this year.