An incinerator at Nicosia general hospital which has sat idle for 13 years while hospital waste management costs spiral will be discussed at the House watchdog committee this week, its chairman George Georgiou said.
Waste management costs at the hospital have reached €1.8bn annually.
On Friday the same committee went to the Nicosia General Hospital to inspect the incinerator. Georgiou said that it is about time the political decision is taken so that the incinerator is put to good use.
Due to this, the President of the Republic himself, Georgiou said, contributes to squandering of public funds. “Since 2003 until today tens of millions have been spent while the incinerator sits idle just because there was no policy in place for a project to be implemented, which was among the Nicosia General Hospital’s specifications,” Georgiou said.
He added that in 2003, when the first tender competition was announced, clinical waste management cost €123,000 while today costs reached €1.8bn because there are only two companies active in this field and they take turns getting the contracts.
He also asked who controls tender bids since there is no possibility for the submission of bids from other companies.
AKEL MP Irini Charalambidou said that the committee had asked former Attorney General Petros Clerides to investigate whether there were possible criminal offences as regards the installation and operation of the incinerator, as per the audit service’s annual reports.
Through the Auditor general’s reports, Charalambiou said, it was shown that lack of coordination between departments caused a waste of public funds, while since 2014 a ministerial committee was appointed to take decisions on the matter and “it finally must take decisions”.
She added that Clerides ruled that he had not found in the Auditor General’s report anything concerning committing criminal offences and that mismanagement is related to the lack of policy on the use of the incinerator.
The House Watchdog committee, she said, asked earlier in the month for the issue to be brought back and is to evaluate the competent ministerial committee’s actions as well as all relevant reports on the issue so far.