Friday, June 13, 2014

McGuinness proves he is not an impartial chair with PAC outburst

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Friday) strongly criticised Fianna Fáil TD, John McGuinness, for his outburst at two HSE chiefs during a hearing of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday, saying his comments prove he is not an impartial Chairman.

"Being Chair of the PAC seems to have gone to John McGuinness' head and he now sees himself as judge, jury and executioner. It is completely inappropriate to launch the kind of political attacks on public servants that he did at the PAC today.

“How can any future witness feel assured that they are in the hands of a fair, impartial and effective Chair when he cannot even control his own intemperate outbursts?

“The PAC has a proud tradition of getting to the truth in a non-political, professional manner and McGuinness risks undermining the entire committee system with his desire to turn it into a show trial.
“Furthermore, John McGuinness’ comments take absolutely no account of the fact that the budgetary challenges facing the Department of Health are a direct result of his Party’s mismanagement of the economy while he was a senior member of government.

“This is not the first time that Deputy McGuinness’ judgement has been brought into serious question. This is the man who:
  • Last year said the taxpayer should pay for ministers’ spouses on official trips after he was found to have brought his wife on State trips when he was minister
  • Took severance pay of more than €60,000 in 2011, despite an order from his Party leader for all former ministers to forgo such payments
  • Approved an upgrade of his ministerial office which ended up costing the taxpayer €250,000
  • Defended overtime payments of more than €30,000 in one year to his son, who worked for him while he was minister
“John McGuinness has left himself in an extremely compromised position following his latest case of poor judgement, when he saw fit to call for the heads of two senior public servants when he should have been acting as an independent Chair. His behaviour is unacceptable, and it is doing the PAC a disservice.”

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