Investigate HSE legal costs - Flanagan

THE Minister for Health should investigate the Health Service Executive’s legal costs, Charlie Flanagan TD has stated.

THE Minister for Health should investigate the Health Service Executive’s legal costs, Charlie Flanagan TD has stated.

Dr James Reilly should provide “a detailed report on the effectiveness of the HSE’s legal advice procurement process”. Mr Flanagan told the Dáil this week that the “cash-strapped HSE” was continuing to spend €20 million annually on external legal advisers. “This is being done despite the fact that the HSE has its own internal legal office which costs €500,000 per year.”

Mr Flanagan outlined that the HSE had created a legal services department in March 2010 to provide professional advice to the organisation. Yet it was still spending a great deal of money on external legal services.

Deputy Flanagan also called on Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter to look at the tendering system in local authorities, many of which were spending hundreds of thousands of euro on external legal services despite having in-house legal departments.