Written Answers. - Swimming Pool Projects.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

38 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation when work on the promised 50 metre swimming pool will commence and is likely to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15142/98]

Michael Ferris

Question:

105 Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation when a decision regarding the awarding of a contract for a 50 metre swimming pool will be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15471/98]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 38 and 105 together .

In line with the commitment given in its joint programme, An Action Plan for the Millennium, to invite proposals for a national 50 metre swimming pool, the Government decided in December 1997 to initiate a tender procedure to invite such proposals. The tender procedure is being conducted in line with procedures set out in EU Council Directive 93/37/EEC.

The tender procedure notice for the project was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities on Wednesday, 21 January 1998, and in the Irish media on the following day. The invitation was open to both the public and private sectors.

Developers were requested to come forward with proposals for the design, construction, financing and management of a 50-metre swimming pool, capable primarily of meeting the training requirements of Ireland's high-performance swimmers for international competition. They were also required to demonstrate that they had the necessary financial status, technical knowledge and experience to undertake the project. The final date for receipt of candidatures was 5 March 1998.

Invitation to tender documentation, including a comprehensive project brief, issued to nine qualified candidates on 26 March, inviting them to prepare full tender submissions for the project. The Department has advised candidates that further work needs to be done on the draft contract-legal agreement for the project before it can be issued and the Department expects to issue the outstanding documentation shortly.

Work on the pool can only commence when a successful tenderer has been identified and matters such as planning permission are in place. It is anticipated that the construction phase of the project will be 15 months from the date of any agreement, although a longer period will be considered in the light of submitted proposals.