Watt refuses to invest funds for Holohan’s secondment without the approval of the Minister

The Secretary-General of the Ministry of Health denied that Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan had approved funding for a secondment to Trinity College without approval from Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

Robert Watt told the Oily Chatas Health Commission Wednesday morning when he sent a letter to the University of Dublin on March 16 that he still needed to consider the details of the unlimited secondment proposal.

“There is no basis for approving spending in new areas without the approval of the Minister. I have no authority to do so,” he said.

“This spending was neither approved nor approved. There was no spending here. It was a commitment and we had to consider the details.

“The plan was to seek formal sanctions on spending in the usual way when the details were finalized and a detailed set of proposals was made.”

Quoting a letter to Trinity, Sinn Féin’s David Clinane and Social Democratic co-leader Leucine Shortle said that Watt would spend more than 20 million euros in 10 years without Donnelly’s approval. He accused him of investing “substantial” multi-year funding.

“You promised the taxpayer’s money in that letter, and I don’t think it’s an acceptable action for the Secretary-General to take,” Ms. Shortall said.

Mr. Cullinan said it was “breathtaking arrogance” for Mr. Watt to invest € 2 million annually to provide Dr. Holohan’s role, and the Secretary-General needs to consider the details. He said the spending was not approved because of it.

“After committing to an external agency in writing € 2 million a year, we cannot say that we are seeking retroactive approval. We had an absolute obligation to notify the Minister of Health. You did not,” Cullinan said. Said.

“In honor, we can’t hire Mr. Watt, a senior civil servant to pay taxpayers’ money, without the democratic oversight that was happening here.”

When Donnelly was informed of the contents of the letter, Watt said he wasn’t sure, but thought it was the week after Dr. Holohan’s role as a professor at Trinity College was publicly announced on Friday, March 25. ..

Asked about how the € 2 million figure for public health research funding was calculated, Watt said it was for the “extensive research agenda” and used to collaborate among various universities. Said.

Dr. Holohan, who appeared before the committee with Mr. Watt, said he was not bothered by the Secretary-General and the Bureau on how to handle the secondment.

“I didn’t feel there was anything other than full support for both the concept of this and what was needed in terms of detailed work, so to say that is in my part. There is no misunderstanding, “he said.

When Dr. Holohan saw “concerns” in the public domain about his secondment to Trinity College, he refused to accept the role and was “diverted” by controversy by civil servants and politicians.

In response to a question about whether to accept another secondment from Republican Rep. John Lahart, Dr. Holohan said, “No one has ever tried to convince me,” which is “not no.” I asked to clarify whether or not. He said he wasn’t.

“In my own personal situation, my ambition is to stay in public services and continue to commit to all the purposes and ideals of public health, but to just work in another role.” He said. Watt refuses to invest funds for Holohan’s secondment without the approval of the Minister

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