For Oral Answer on : 27/06/2023
Question Number(s): 34 Question Reference(s): 30990/23
Department: Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure; National Development Plan Delivery and Reform to outline the interaction his Department has had with the Department of Transport with respect to the delivery of projects under the NDP; 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 and for monitoring monthly expenditure at Departmental level. The responsibility for the management and delivery of individual investment projects, within the allocations agreed under the National Development Plan 2021 – 2030 (NDP), rests with the individual sponsoring Department in each case.
I am 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. The Public Spending Code sets the value for money requirements and guidance for evaluating, planning and managing capital projects.
Management and delivery of investment projects and public services within allocation and the national frameworks is a key responsibility of every Department and Minister.
The renaming of my Department as the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform (DPENDR), to specifically include NDP Delivery, has brought about a greater emphasis and mandate for the delivery of the NDP. Earlier this year, I secured Government approval for six priority actions which are:
- Significant changes to reduce the administrative burden in delivering major capital projects, through measures to streamline the Public Spending Code (to become the Infrastructure Guidelines);
- To drive project delivery over the lifetime of the NDP, I am now taking a direct role through chairing the Project Ireland 2040 Delivery Board, ;
- Capacity reviews of departments and agencies with significant delivery programmes to be carried out, where appropriate, to ensure that adequate resources for project delivery are in place;
- Additional reforms to the Capital Works Management Framework, which sets out the contracts used for public capital projects;
- Direct reporting to Government on NDP delivery on a quarterly basis throughout 2023 and 2024 will now also take place and
- An independent evaluation of NDP priorities and capacity will be conducted over the coming months.
With respect to the delivery of projects under the NDP, any interactions my Department has with the Department of Transport or other departments are in relation to the responsibilities that I have just set out.
Officials in my Department regularly engage with officials in the Department of Transport on the application of the Public Spending Code in relation to transport projects. For major projects (those with estimated costs above €200m), the Department of Transport engages with DPENDR through the Major Projects Advisory Group review process. In 2022, the proposals for Metrolink and BusConnects Dublin were reviewed by the Major Project Advisory Group prior to being considered by Government at the Preliminary Business Case stage.
The Department of Transport also provides regular updates which are fed into DPENDR’s Project Ireland 2040 capital investment tracker and MyProjectIreland interactive map viewer as well as the publication of annual reports and regional reports highlighting Project Ireland 2040 achievements and giving a detailed overview of the public investments that have been made throughout the country.