Govt. Appoints Chair Of Abortion Review Committee Despite Questions Over Openess Of Tender Process
Minister of Health Stephen Donnelly was criticised in the Seanad by Ronan Mullen for not issuing an open tender process for the position of an independent chairperson for the 3 year review despite the Minister promising to do so.
This followed a parliamentary question by Deputy Michael Collins asking Minister Donnelly for clarifications. "A request for tender for a chair to carry out research into the views of service providers has also been published on the etenders website today, Decembers 8th 2021."
However Senator Mullen states that on the 8th of December there was only a call for a person or organisation to carry out research. This was in spite of the fact that at a Health committee meeting on December where Minister Donnelly was in attendence it was stated that "it must legally go to published tender as the costs could go to 100,000."Yet the reply Deputy Michael Collins received from his parliamentary question was that "a small number of candidates, identified as having suitable experience, were contacted and invited to apply for the role of independent Chair."
Senator Mullen said the Minister must "now account to the Oireachtas for the discrepancy between his statements and his actions. We need to know whether, at the time of claiming that a request for tender had taken place, the minister knew that had not happened and that it was not going to happen."
It has since been announced that the Minister of Health is to appoint Marie O'Shea as chair of the review into the State's abortion laws following the above mentioned tender issued by the Government.