An update on one of my first posts here.
Four months since we started asking questions about procurement procedures in the HSE's national ambulance service senior HSE managers have ordered an audit of all procurement made by the office over the last few years.
That first story on this topic was followed up earlier this month after papers released through Freedom of Information (I love it when the FOI people release something useful) established a direct link between McClintock and Patron, the official Irish suppliers of the company that paid for the Las Vegas trip.
I have another FOI request in with the HSE looking for details about another big supplier but the HSE now say it won't reply to that request while this review/audit of procurement is ongoing.
Before we ran the second story that showed McClintock had authorised payments for "pre delivery inspections" I asked the HSE a series of questions like: what exactly was this service it was paying Patron for, and, had there been a tender process?
I also asked whether the HSE still thought there was "no issue" with a manager accepting an all expenses paid trip to Las Vegas from a supplier. At the time they said they were too busy to answer before publication because of the outbreak of swine flu.
OK... maybe we didn't give the HSE enough time to check in to a complicated procurment process. Almost a month later, however, there were still no answers but there was an announcement of an audit. It's hardly a ringing endorsement of McClintock.
Incidentally, McClintock's expenses for 2006 and 2007 (also released through FOI) are amazing. For 2007 he claimed €27,543 on subsistence - overnight claims. The HSE's subsistence rate in 2007 was €140.44 per night. That means, if all that claim is for away days in 2007, the HSE paid for him to be away from base for 196 days in one year.
There are roughly 230 working days in the year so that's a lot of away days. Subsistence payments are only paid for "officers engaged on official business away from their headquarters".
McClintock, according to the interview linked above, has a home in Derry. The national ambulance office is in Naas, Co Kildare. So I asked the HSE where was McClintock's officially designated base?