Written Answers. - Local Authority Housing.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

109 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the recent research or appraisal of the tendering system for local authority projects; if his attention has been drawn to the enormous difficulties some local authorities are experiencing in engaging contractors for various home improvement works schemes for local authority housing; the plans, if any, he has to alter the tendering system to make it more attractive to contractors; the other plans, if any, he has to tackle this escalating problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10228/00]

While local authorities have not sought changes to the current competitive tendering system, I am aware that the buoyancy in the construction industry has given rise to difficulties in the tendering process for construction works in general, local authority housing being no exception. This has been evident over the last few years from the reduced number of contractors submitting tenders and escalating tender prices.

Chapter 4 of the report of the strategic review committee, on the construction industry, June 1997, dealt with building procurement for construction projects in general, and contained recommendations on tendering procedures, paragraphs 4.13 to 4.25. It is planned to implement these recommendations with effect from 1 September 2000, subject to the agreement of the implementation details by the forum for the construction industry in June 2000. A copy of the SRC report is available in the Oireachtas Library.