Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform | Addressing the extent of infrastructure issues critical to the progress and delivery of the National Development Plan
To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure; National Development Plan Delivery and Reform the extent to which issues are being considered which are most likely to have an impact on improving delivery on the National Development Plan, with particular reference to specific infrastructure which is now, or likely to become in the near future, critical to progress; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
As Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, I am responsible for setting the overall capital allocations across Departments. Management and delivery of individual investment projects within the allocations agreed under the NDP is a key responsibility of every Department and Minister.
The National Development Plan 2021 – 2030 (NDP) published in October 2021 provides a detailed and positive vision for Ireland over the next 10 years, and delivers total public investment of €165 billion over the period 2021-2030. In 2023, over €12 billion will be made available from the Exchequer for investment in public capital projects, which will provide more schools, homes, hospitals and other pieces of vital infrastructure.
As you are aware, my Department has been renamed to give an additional focus on the delivery of the NDP and to assist Departments in delivering on their much needed priority projects. I am looking at all the policy levers and supporting structures at our disposal that could support the delivery of critical projects as well as working with colleagues across Government to remove any potential barriers that are impacting on delivery. This work will focus on how projects are approved and appraised by Government and Government Departments, the public procurement procedures required to comply with EU regulations under my own remit, and identifying capacity and capability gaps across the public sector and work to bridge these gaps.
Ensuring Value for Money for the Irish taxpayer remains a key priority for my Department while still supporting project delivery. In terms of the appraisal of major projects, external scrutiny will still be required through the application of the External Assurance Process and an assessment of the Major Projects Advisory Group prior to a Government decision. These steps are essential in ensuring rigour in project assessment and progress of ongoing developments.
In addition to focusing on public sector delivery capability, my Department will continue to work closely with the construction sector through the Construction Sector Group to improve productivity and delivery capacity. Important initiatives have been launched and supported through the Construction Sector Group in recent years including the Build Digital Project to digitise the sector, Construct Innovate to provide cutting edge research, and the Demonstration Park for Modern Methods of Construction to showcase innovative building techniques.
The Government is also committed to continue to detail the delivery of the NDP at regular intervals into the future to allow for full transparency on the implementation of Project Ireland 2040. This will be achieved through regular updates of the Project Ireland 2040 capital investment tracker and map as well as the publication of annual reports and regional reports highlighting Project Ireland 2040 achievements.
I am confident that our high levels of investment will produce the critical infrastructure we need to support a growing economy and higher living standards for those living here.
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