Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe announced the government is “speeding up reforms” to the public procurement process which were “put in train as part of Project Ireland 2040” following €99m in capital reallocations to deliver the National Children’s Hospital.
No PPP projects in procurement or under construction have been directly affected by the capital reallocations.
Donohoe said: “We are undertaking enormous investment and we have made much progress delivering projects on time and on budget but it is clear that the experience of the National Children’s Hospital must be drawn upon, and lessons learned, to ensure that this type of cost overrun is avoided in future and so our project management procedures keep pace and are world-class.”
The reforms to the public procurement process include:
• Budgets for large bespoke projects will include a significant premium for risks so that these indicative costings more adequately reflect the holistic total for the entire project over its lifecycle.
• the government will link payments to advisory firms to clear performance standards.
• new mechanisms for the management and recording of performance on projects will be explored.
• new measures for tender evaluations to minimise the risk associated with abnormally low tender prices; and
• the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is commencing a Capacity and Capability Review of public sector bodies.
Donohoe added: “We need a robust, dynamic and productive construction sector, continually adapting to keep pace with advances in technology and through the Construction Sector Group – which met again last week – we are working with industry to ensure this.”