Public Expenditure and Reform | Timeline updates on Government projects
To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the degree to which he expects all Government projects to continue to be completed on time and within budget; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide an update in regard to the extent to which he expects the various targets in Project Ireland 2040 to be achieved on time and within budget; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The NDP published in October 2021 provides a detailed and positive vision for Ireland over the next 10 years, and sees total public investment of €165 billion over the period 2021-2030.
As Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform I am responsible for setting the overall capital allocations across Departments and for monitoring monthly expenditure at a Departmental level. My Department is also responsible for maintaining the national frameworks within which Departments operate to ensure appropriate accounting for and value for money in public expenditure such as the Public Spending Code (PSC).
The PSC sets the value for money requirements and guidance for evaluating, planning and managing capital projects. Management and delivery of individual investment projects within the allocations agreed under the NDP and within the national frameworks is a key responsibility of every Accounting Officer and Minister.
It is important to acknowledge that the majority of public investment projects are delivered on budget and on time and there is a high level of professionalism across the sectors. However, noting the higher risk profile of larger projects, it was recognised that new procedures were required in order to improve project out-turns, avoid cost overruns and avoid delays to project delivery.
Responding to this need, my Department put in place an External Assurance Process to provide independent scrutiny for major public capital projects costing in excess of €100 million. This involves independent expert reviews at two key stages in the project lifecycle under the PSC (approval in principle and prior to tendering).
The Major Projects Advisory Group (MPAG) has also been established by my Department. MPAG scrutinise project proposals and external reviews as a prerequisite to seeking Government approval for major projects at the relevant decision gates.
These reforms, alongside ongoing engagement with the construction sector regarding capacity and innovation, will help ensure the effective delivery of capital investment projects and programmes under Project Ireland 2040 on time and on budget.
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