The HSE and individual accountability


Sir, – The HSE paid nearly €19,000 over a 14-month period to rent a vehicle which it could have bought outright for between €5,000 and €10,000 (News, February 6th). Presumably the audit which identified this “stopped short of determining culpability at the individual level”.

It is ever thus. The project “will cost what it will cost”. And when light is shone on this everlasting nonsense the responsibility is always with the institution and never with Peter, Paul or Mary.

But the HSE didn’t agree and sign the lease agreement. Peter, Paul or Mary did.

Allow me to make a modest proposal which, if adopted and implemented, would save the hapless taxpayer a few bob. Next time Peter is asked to approve or sign a lease agreement involving payments of nearly €10,000 for each year or part of a year (that last refinement must have brought a smile to the face of the lessor) for a vehicle which could be purchased outright for less than one such payment, let him ask, “Would I do this if I were spending my money?”

The effect could be tremendous. – Yours, etc,


Rathmines, Dublin 6.