If the Tánaiste had intended to give reassurance to people regarding accident and emergency departments, she has singularly failed to do so. A very simple sentence is required, which is that no accident and emergency department will be in any way adversely affected by anything that arises from the report. That is what is needed.
I want to raise another matter, if I can. The HSE funds 1,900 voluntary agencies to a value of approximately €3.1 billion per year. A total of 44 of these agencies, which account for annual expenditure of €2.5 billion, are funded under section 38 of the Health Act. The remaining approximately 1,800 are part funded under section 39 of the same Act. The governance context in which the HSE engages with section 39 agencies is different from what applies in the case of section 38 agencies. For example, the employees of section 39 agencies are not public servants, are not members of the public sector pension scheme and, unlike those in section 38 agencies, are not directly bound by Department of Health consolidated pay scales.
In 2009, the HSE developed a national standard governance framework for non-statutory sectors. In 2010, under this framework, service arrangements were introduced between the HSE and section 38 agencies. In 2013, the HSE sought to enhance the governance arrangements in place for these agencies and to strengthen the direct relationship between the HSE and the board of each agency. Part of this enhanced governance was the introduction of annual compliance processes and annual meetings between the HSE and chairs of all section 38 agencies.
Will the Tánaiste confirm that all section 38 agencies are in full compliance with the HSE requirements regarding board and corporate governance? Will she confirm that all agencies adhere now to Department of Health pay scales in all circumstances? Will she confirm that the chairs and directors of all section 38 agencies have signed the compliance statement, as is now required? Will she confirm that all of the overpayments to individuals employed in these agencies which have been notified to the Department of Health have now ceased? Will she confirm the Government is satisfied with the oversight arrangements that are now in place to monitor what is State expenditure of €3.8 billion?