For Oral Answer on : 11/05/2023
Question Number(s): 35 Question Reference(s): 22043/23
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 the key policy levers being examined by his Department to support a quicker delivery of vital projects outlined in the National Development Plan; 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.
The recent renaming and reconstitution of my Department, to specifically include NDP Delivery, has brought about a greater emphasis and mandate for the delivery of the NDP. In light of this new role, a review of the support structures and levers available across Government to maximise delivery of projects was undertaken, as well as engagement with stakeholders and Government colleagues. As a result, a series of actions and reforms were identified as priorities to improve delivery of NDP projects and programmes. I secured Government approval for that package of measures on 29 March. Those measures include:
- Significant changes to reduce the administrative burden in delivering major capital projects;
- As Minister I am now taking a direct role in overseeing delivery of the NDP through chairing the Project Ireland 2040 Delivery Board;
- Capacity reviews of departments and agencies with significant delivery programmes 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.
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.
I am confident that the steps I am taking to boost NDP delivery will produce the critical infrastructure we need to support a growing economy and result in higher living standards for those living here.