I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 and 2 together.
The management, delivery and oversight of individual investment programmes and public services within the agreed allocations are a key responsibility of every Department and Minister. With this in mind, the monitoring of the national children's hospital project, including regular progress reports, is a matter in the first instance for the Minister for Health and the Department of Health.
On 9 April, the Government published the report on the independent review of the escalation in national children's hospital costs carried out by PwC.
The report acknowledges that the national children's hospital is a project which is unique in scope, scale, and complexity in comparison with any other health infrastructure project in Ireland's history and is explicit in stating that the project's complexity should not be understated. However, the report did identify a series of weaknesses in set-up, planning, budget, execution and governance.
The PwC report made 11 recommendations to address issues of planning, budget execution and governance relating to the national children's hospital, and the Government has accepted these recommendations.
Nine of the recommendations relate to the specific execution, oversight and governance of the hospital, on which my colleague, the Minister for Health, is currently preparing an implementation plan. The other two have a wider application to capital infrastructure projects generally.
My role is to oversee the national development plan, NDP, up to 2027 and to maintain the national frameworks such as the public spending code, within which Departments operate to ensure appropriate accounting for and value for money in public expenditure.
To support the efficient implementation of the NDP, we have put in place the following measures: the establishment of a construction sector working group; a Project Ireland 2040 delivery board of Secretaries General; the establishment of an investment projects and programmes office; the publication of a capital projects tracker; and a capability review of public sector bodies. The public spending code is being reviewed in tandem with the review of the construction procurement strategy as part of the ongoing reform of our capital management systems. The reviews of the public spending code and the construction procurement strategy will strengthen existing guidelines on key areas of project delivery, including cost estimation; development of business cases; governance and project roles; and quality of information, risk identification and mitigation.
The revised central elements of the public spending code relating to the appraisal and management of public capital projects will be published before the summer. Further technical guidance building upon these central elements will follow in the second half of 2019 and into next year.