OPW whistleblower letter makes ‘very serious’ allegations, committee told

Labour TD Alan Kelly tells Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of correspondence

Deputy Alan Kelly told the public accounts committee he had received a letter from a whistleblower in the OPW. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Deputy Alan Kelly told the public accounts committee he had received a letter from a whistleblower in the OPW. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

Labour TD Alan Kelly has said he has received a letter from a former whistleblower within the Office of Public Works (OPW) which contain allegations of a “very serious nature”.

Mr Kelly told the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) that the whistleblower in question had been the most senior valuer within the OPW before he recently retired.

He said he had met with the individual involved who had provided back up documentation in relation to his claims.

“There are very serious issues that he has brought forward in this letter,” he said.

The OPW is due to come in front of the PAC in any case next week because of its handling of the new headquarters of the Department of Health which lay empty for 17 months at the cost to the State of €15.8 million.

The OPW is responsible for the procurement of all Government buildings.

Mr Kelly said the committee should meet at a later date with the whistleblower in question either in public or in private session.

He did not elaborate on the substance of the letter he received, but he said there was a report referred to in it which was compiled by the whistleblower and a current employee of the OPW.

He added: “That report is with the chairperson of the OPW. From what I understand, there has been no response to that report so we may want to ask in advance of next week that the report be sent to the committee and also for his reply if one exists.”

Independent TD Catherine Connelly said she had read the letter too and she confirmed that the issues it raised were “very significant”.

“They (the OPW) should have a chance to look at that so that they are in a position to deal with the questions raised and if there is a report we should have it prior to the meeting, inquiries should be made about that,” she said.

PAC chairman Sean Fleming said a copy of the letter will be forwarded to the OPW with some redacted words because of the parliamentary privilege issue.