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Thread: Roche & the HSE Taxi Contract

  1. #1
    boo-boo
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    Default Roche & the HSE Taxi Contract

    Dick Roche Minister for European Affairs was reported in yesterday’s Sunday Times to have attempted last January to interfere with the awarding of a HSE tender for taxi services after a company that was run by Pat Sweeney (who is a former FF councillor) and his wife Irene (who failed to get elected in last years local elections) failed to win the tender contract.

    It is reported that Dick Roche wrote to Brendan Drumm the former CEO of the HSE and Mary Harney Minister for Health to complain that Pat Sweeney who is based in Arklow had failed to win the contract to ferry patients around his constituency. Mr. Roche accused the HSE of making decisions that would negatively affect patient services by not awarding the contract to Sweeney, who had provided this service for 30 years up to 2010.

    Roche asked the HSE to halt the tender process until a list of his complaints were dealt with. The first letter that Roche wrote was to Dara Purcell the secretary to the HSE board from his Department of An Taoiseach email on January 9.

    Roche said that he was “reluctant to approach the HSE on a contract matter” as neither he nor the Sweeney’s “wish in any way to improperly influence the awarding of a contract” however he asked for a “full re-evaluation of the processes applied be carried out before these contracts are finalised”.

    In a further letter to Purcell on January 11th, Roche said he was “loath to interfere in the tendering process”. In an attached letter to Prof. Drumm he said the scorecard used had omitted “quality and safe service for patients” as a category and the 50% score awards to the Sweeney’s “defies logic”.

    In support, Roche included testimonials from an Arklow based medical practice and two dialysis patients who he said must be factored into any final decisions that were made.

    Roche also queried how accurate scores could be given to a rival taxi provider who did not already provide the service and he went on to criticise National Radio Cab’s who is believed to have won the contract.

    He write “he had no wish to question the efficiency of this company, but even a casual user of taxi services in the greater Dublin area must come to the conclusion that they are far from exemplary”.

    He also wrote “has the HSE before awarding this valuable contract to this particular taxi company checked the quality of its cabs? Have you checked the capacity of the drivers to find their way around the remote villages and rural regions of Co. Wicklow”?

    In a letter to Drumm dated February 18, Roche said that “all of the available evidence suggests that service arrangements which the HSE signed up to are not focused on patient care”. In May Drumm replied and said he would investigate the matter.

    Drumm however defended the earlier reponses to the Minister and said he was satisfied that the contracts were awarded in line with best practice procurement policies.

    On Saturday, Roche defended his actions and said that the fact that the Sweeney’s were FF’s “is neither here or there” and “I believe that bureaucratic considerations decided this tender not patient care. The Sweeney’s have been providing an exemplary service for 30 years without ever receiving a complaint”

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member controller's Avatar
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    I saw that. That little bully has no shame whatsoever, another scumbag of the highest order from the ranks of FF.
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    Aside from anything else, I've always found National Radio Cabs to be extremely reliable (much more so that traditional taxi firms) so Mr Roche is also denigrating a successful Irish business in order to favour his contacts. I hope they take him to court over this.

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    Politics.ie Member gijoe's Avatar
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    Roche's argument was that 'patient safety' would be in some way compromised by awarding the contract to a different service provider. Could someone please explain that one to me? Does the winning bidder taxi company use 20 year old bangers or do they employ as a matter of routine rapists and paedophiles as drivers?? No, I thought not. So what the hell is Roche on about??

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    Politics.ie Member Mushroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by controller View Post

    I saw that. That little bully has no shame whatsoever, another scumbag of the highest order from the ranks of FF.
    Absolutely - he's a loathsome, arrogant, smug toad. But he really stuck his brass neck out a long, long way on this occasion, I wonder why.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bungo View Post
    Aside from anything else, I've always found National Radio Cabs to be extremely reliable (much more so that traditional taxi firms) so Mr Roche is also denigrating a successful Irish business in order to favour his contacts. I hope they take him to court over this.
    Dead right! National Radio Cabs should do a Michael O'Leary on this and sue CockRoach in a blaze of publicity. FF never learn - not satisfied with awarding overpriced, unneccessary long haul limo services to an FF'er the CockRoach now wants to grab whatever business is left and hand it over to another FF'er. We need to keep our radars swivelling in the last few days of this stinking, corrupt Government - they'll be awarding contracts and making appointments to beat the band. Remember Blessed Bertie's & Opus Wood's unholy deal with the Catholic church minutes before they cashed in their chips?

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    Politics.ie Member mmrebel's Avatar
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    Is anyone surprised more FF cronyism ???

  8. #8
    boo-boo
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    Default Sense not him

    Quote Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
    Roche's argument was that 'patient safety' would be in some way compromised by awarding the contract to a different service provider. Could someone please explain that one to me? Does the winning bidder taxi company use 20 year old bangers or do they employ as a matter of routine rapists and paedophiles as drivers?? No, I thought not. So what the hell is Roche on about??
    I was thinking that myself...doesnt make sense....maybe he thinks that patients on life support get transported by taxies

    All taxi drivers do is transport patients to and between hospitals...they can also transport blood etc. Ok, there might be an issue if something happens a patient while in transport...say for instance if they arrest, but the way you'd respond to that situation is CPR and dial 999... same risks exist and its totally irrelevant whether its Sweeney cabs or NRC! But, then again maybe Roche is off on another plain!

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    Default FOI documents

    I've posted the full correspondence between Dick Roche and the HSE on my blog.

    Newspaper Man: Dick Roche attacks HSE tender for taxis in Wicklow

    Regards,

    Mark

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    Politics.ie Member ManOfReason's Avatar
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    What are the chances that the voters of Wicklow will punish Dick Roche for this outlandish interference in the spending of tax payer's money by not electing him in the next election. Zero. Why? Because of the multi-seat nature of our constituencies he only needs less than 20% of the votes to get elected. Since 20 to 30% of voters in every constituency is made up crooks and idiots so I imagine he will romp home again.

    Now if we had single seat constituencies with transferable votes I believe at least 51% of voters would manage their votes to prevent cute hores like Dicky Roche from getting elected.
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