Dossier on GP association sent to DPP after allegations of financial mismanagement – The Irish Times
A file on allegations of financial mismanagement related to the operation of the defunct National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) has been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
This follows a lengthy investigation into the association’s accounts by the Office of the Director of Corporate Law Enforcement (ODCE) and detectives from the National Bureau of Economic Crime.
It is understood that the association’s former chief executive, Chris Goodey, was arrested and questioned by investigators last month as part of the investigation.
News of the investigation was first revealed by the Business postwhile the Sunday Independent reported Mr. Goodey’s arrest. The businessman did not respond to a request for comment from Irish weather Sunday but said earlier on Sunday Independent he was happy to cooperate with gardaí on the matter.
The ODCE has since been replaced by the Corporate Enforcement Authority (CEA) which declined to comment on the investigation this week. If the DPP leads the charges, the former NAGP officers could face criminal charges.
Mr Goodey, who lives in Spain, was arrested after returning to Ireland last month. He was later released after being questioned by gardaí.
News of the investigation follows the DPP’s decision not to prosecute Tánaiste Leo Varadkar or other former NAGP employees for separate allegations regarding the leaking of a confidential document by Mr. Varadkar.
The investigation into NAGP’s finances dates back to 2019, when allegations of widespread financial irregularities were made. These included allegations of unwarranted expenses, misuse of the company’s credit card and other unusual payments.
In April 2019, NAGP President Dr. Maitiú Ó’Tuathail resigned from the organization saying he had “serious concerns” about its governance. The association’s national board also resigned, citing serious internal governance issues.
No money available
The association went into voluntary liquidation in June 2019 shortly after allegations of financial mismanagement became public. She found herself with nearly €400,000 in debt and no cash available to pay her many creditors.
At the time, Mr Goodey said NAGP had struggled to collect subscriptions from its roughly 2,000 member doctors due to “negative publicity”. He said a €200,000 bailout that had been staged had failed for the same reason.
Concerns about its governance were first raised in 2018 when a review of the association’s books by an external firm identified several areas of concern and warned that the association could become a revenue target.
The NAGP was a rival organization to the Irish Medical Organization (IMO) which also represented general practitioners. However, unlike the IMO, it did not negotiate directly with the government when negotiating GP fees and was not affiliated with the Irish Trades Union Congress.
Mr Varadkar’s leak of a draft agreement between the IMO and the government at NAGP has been the subject of a criminal investigation by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau.
Last week, the DPP ordered that no charges be brought against anyone in the investigation.
Mr Varadkar previously admitted it was wrong to give the contract to NAGP through informal channels, but denied any wrongdoing. He claimed the allegations were politically motivated.