Tag Archives: National Children’s Hospital

The proposed new National Children’s Hospital; from an article on IPVM

Shaped like an eye.

Made for looking…

This afternoon.

Charles Rollet reports on IPVM (the ‘world’s leading authority on video surveillance’):

The world’s most expensive hospital project ever, the new Children’s Hospital in Ireland, has chosen an all-Hikvision surveillance system including specialized facial recognition cameras, IPVM has found.

Privacy experts and an Irish politician raised serious concerns about this to IPVM, due to the sensitivity of deploying facial recognition in a children’s hospital and the use of Hikvision cameras given its recent human rights sanctions and China government control.

The NCH, which is currently under construction in Dublin, has already attracted controversy for its spiraling price tag which now stands at $2 billion.

…IPVM made a Freedom of Information request about the NCH’s video surveillance system, and we received one detailing all the “equipment brand and models being used on the NCH project”

While NCH would not disclose the camera counts or pricing, we estimate in the range of a million Euros for the project including at least hundreds of cameras. Given the size of the hospital campus, the variety of high-end models selected (facial recognition, ANPR, PTZs, people-counting, etc.), this is a large project.

IPVM asked about Hikvision’s Xinjiang sanctions and we received a generic response ignoring this question:

“The safety of patients, visitors and staff at the new children’s hospital is of paramount importance to everyone working on the new children’s hospital project.

Stanley Security Systems, who have been working in this area for more than 25 years, were successful in the competitive procurement process for the installation of the security systems at the new children’s hospital.”

Using facial recognition on children is highly sensitive; in both Sweden and France, schools that attempted to use facial recognition were banned from doing so by data regulators due to the GDPR, which Ireland is also subject to.

IPVM asked the NCH directly why it had specified facial recognition cameras and we received this response:

“It has not yet been decided which aspect of this technology’s many capabilities will be used in the new children’s hospital. This decision will be taken nearer the opening of the hospital by Children’s Health Ireland and will be in line with Irish and European data protection and privacy legislation and in such a way as to ensure that the occupants of the hospital have the right protections afforded to them, in line with their privacy rights..”

Meanwhile…

Anyone?

Ireland National Children’s Hospital Chooses Hikvision End-to-End With Facial Recognition (IPVM)

Pic: IPVM

Proposed National Children’s Hospital

No, seriously.

RTÉ reports:

The head of the board responsible for the new national children’s hospital says it cannot be certain of the final price of the project.

The project has been highly controversial, this week the Labour party claimed the project would now exceed €2bn.

A letter from David Gunning, the chief officer of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, read out at the Public Accounts Committee today said: “There have been a number of exceptions that have been outside the approved budget for which there cannot be price certainty at this point or for the duration of the project.”

Concern grows over final costs for new children’s hospital (RTÉ)

Previously: How Much?




Building & Allied Trades’ Union (BATU) President Martin Malone (above) and bricklayers Terry Dey and Karl Deregan (pic 2) this morning

This morning.

St James’s Hospital site, Dublin.

SIPTU activists and members of other construction industry unions protest outside the site of the new National Children’s Hospital to highlight bogus self-employment in the construction sector.

Related: Bogus Self Employment: The Abuse That Keeps On Taking

RollingNews

More than €1m has been paid to a communications company managing publicity for the National Children’s Hospital, it has emerged.

In 2015, €204,509 was paid to communications company Q4PR.

This increased to €274,567 in 2016,

€276,467 the following year,

and €248,050 in 2018.

The Dublin-based firm’s contract is due to continue until March 2021.

€1m paid to publicists for National Children’s Hospital (Irish Examiner)

This morning.

At a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee.

Chair of the committee Sean Fleming, above, raised a matter he referred to as “hiding in plain sight”.

He told the committee that correspondence it received from the HSE had confirmed that PwC were last year engaged to advise the HSE about the Government’s decision regarding what to do about the National Children’s Hospital.

But, two months later, in January 2019, PwC was also paid almost €500,000 to carry out a review of the hospital’s cost overruns.

Mr Fleming said:

“It was inappropriate of the HSE to request PwC to carry out that report given that PwC, at the request of the HSE, only two months earlier were involved in the process reviewing the gross maximum cost and providing their professional and specialist input from a financial point of view to the HSE which led to the decision for the project to proceed…”

He added that it was a “gross conflict of interest” on the part of PwC and HSE were “very wrong” to commission PwC for both reports.

Mr Fleming added that the HSE also knew about the conflict.

He also said that, as Independent TD Catherine Connolly mentioned previously, while PwC wasn’t requested to give any conclusion about the best option for the hospital, following its examination in January, it did anyway and this was to conclude that the project should go ahead.

He said:

“Here we have, PwC, in a report, drawing a conclusion, saying that the decision that was made, as a result of their previous, professional input to the earlier decision-making process was the correct decision in relation to proceeding.

“I find it extraordinary…”

Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane said, it seemed to him, that PwC was paid twice for the same advice.

He also noted that, in the correspondence from the HSE, the HSE stated it’s satisfied there was no conflict of interest.

Independent TD Catherine Connolly asked if the Government knew that PwC had been previously been involved before it was hired in January.

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said, in her opinion, such conflicts can cause “corruption of a process”.

She said the committee will likely be told about “Chinese walls” but she said the committee needs to know if the same arm of the company carried out the two reports.

Ms Murphy pointed out that there have been recent news reports in the UK about the over dominance of the four big accountancy firms [namely Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC]

In light of that, she asked:

“Do we design our rules that really don’t allow more entities into that space? I suspect that we make it much more difficult for middle-ranking firms to compete and we need to look at that. Because that would have a bearing on value for money.”

Watch back here

From top: the PWC report into cost overruns at the National Children’s Hospital; graph depicting the original budget and additional costs

A report into cost overruns at the National Children’s Hospital has warned that the final cost of the project could exceed €1.7bn.

According to the review, “significant failures” occurred during the crucial planning and budgeting stages.

It found that the project could never be delivered within the financial parameters agreed.

It warned that risks remain with the project and if these are not effectively managed, it could lead to further costs rises in the capital works….

Read full PWC report here here

Earlier: ‘Red Flags Missed’

Review over new children’s hospital warns final cost could exceed €1.7bn (RTÉ)

 

At site of the National Children’s Hospital on the campus of St James’s Hospital in Dublin; graph from a PwC report on the hospital’s overspend

More as they get it.

Children’s hospital report says final cost will exceed €1.73bn (The Irish Times)

Rollingnews

Graph: Gavan Reilly

Chief Executive Children’s Hospital Group Elish Hardiman, Minister for Health Simon Harris TD and Project Director of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board John Pollock in 2017

Yesterday.

Project Director of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board John Pollock resigned after holding the position for five years and four months.

His resignation is the fifth resignation from the project.

Anyone?

Children’s hospital: Engineer in charge of project resigns (Paul Cullen, The Irish Times)

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

This evening.

Earlier…

Robert Watt, Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure answering questions about the National Children’s Hospital overruns this morning at PAC this morning

The most senior civil servant in charge of public spending has become embroiled in a row with members of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee over claims he said they were “a mob” that needed to be controlled.

Sinn Féin’s David Culliane told the committee it was reported by a “very responsible journalist” that Mr Watt had said, outside of the committee room, that Committee Chairman Sean Fleming, “needs to control the mob.”

Mr Watt said: “I don’t recall saying it to be honest but if I did say it, it is a colloquial expression. It is not in any way intended to be demeaning to anybody. I don’t recollect to be honest.”

…Fianna Fáil’s Mark MacSharry said that the 18-page opening statement to the committee from Mr Watt did not mention the new children’s hospital once.

He described this as a ‘Harvey Smith‘ to the committee.

Watt embroiled in row over ‘mob’ comments about PAC (RTÉ)

Watch: PAC chairman ‘highly frustrated’ over senior official’s absence (RTÉ)

UPDATE: