DESPITE the credit crunch, taxpayers are still footing the bill for projects that have yet to get off the ground, or for wasteful public organisations.
The National Health System (NHS) is one such venture that is a project on paper only. But so far €24m has been spent on the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO), the vehicle set up with the mission to implement the scheme. The NHS was supposed to be up and running by 2008; the date was later pushed back to 2012 and then again to 2015.
In her report for the year 2011, the Auditor-general notes that the lion’s share of expenses at the HIO consisted of a series of feasibility studies commissioned for the NHS. Other expenditures are for salaries (the HIO employs around 60 persons) and rent for premises.Read More