Transport Infrastructure Ireland to appear before PAC

Transport Infrastructure Ireland’s financial statements for 2016 will be on the agenda of the Public Accounts Committee when it meets tomorrow, Thursday, 12 October 2017.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland resulted from the merger of the National Roads Authority and the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) in August 2015 under the terms of the Roads Act 2015. It has overall responsibility for the development and maintenance of the national road network and the light rail and metro responsibilities of the previous RPA. TII also manages the LUAS operating contract governing the provision of LUAS services and maintenance.

Committee Chairman Seán Fleming said: “Tomorrow, the Committee will examine Transport Infrastructure Ireland’s 2016 financial statements and matters relating to TII’s achievement of value for money in regard to its role, functions and performance.

One of the areas interest to the Committee tomorrow will be toll income, in particular where this income is offset by toll collection costs. We will be looking for information on the toll income generated by the different types of toll arrangements in place, toll collection costs and the process for setting toll rates.

Last year, the toll operator eFlow deemed €5.3m uncollectable. We will want to know the reasons why the €5.3m was uncollectable and the situation generally as to uncollectable tolls.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland licences the LUAS infrastructure to an operator. Where revenues collected by the operator exceed the licence fee, a surplus arises for TII. In 2016 there was a surplus of €3.8m. In addition, there was a surplus of €2.2m generated from LUAS associated assets, such as Park and Ride facilities, advertising, rental of kiosks. We will be keen to find out if the industrial relations dispute at Luas had an impact on the 2016 surplus and if there is any information on the projected surplus for 2017.

In relation to PPPs, Transport Infrastructure Ireland was subject to legal challenges on a number of projects. These challenges though successfully defended by TII proved to be very costly in terms of legal fees and project delays. We will be keen to ascertain if the procurement process has been reviewed to identify if there are any aspects which increase  vulnerability to legal challenges and if there are any measures that can be taken by TII to reduce or deter legal challenges. Other issues of interest are procedures TII has in place to minimise significant cost variations in transport PPPs and we will ask for a detailed report on the review of PPPs what have been carried out recently.”

This meeting will start in Committee room 3 at 9am on Thursday, 12 October 2017.

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Committee Membership:

Bobby Aylward        Fianna Fáil
Peter Burke        Fine Gael
Shane Cassells        Fianna Fáil
Catherine Connolly    Independent
David Cullinane        Sinn Féin
Alan Farrell        Fine Gael
Séan Fleming        Fianna Fáil
Alan Kelly        Labour
Marc MacSharry        Fianna Fáil
Josepha Madigan    Fine Gael
Mary Lou McDonald    Sinn Féin
Noel Rock        Fine Gael
Catherine Murphy    Social Democrats-Green Party Group