Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (240)

Damien English

Question:

240. Deputy Damien English asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to begin the process of reviewing the government form of contract which were introduced in 2007 to deal with cost and time overruns on large public sector projects the contracts which is now due to be reviewed by the GCCC under the aegis of his Department; if he will outline when the review will begin; if he will provide the name, title and Department of the individual members of the GCCC; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11195/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Fixed-price lump-sum public works contracts were introduced in February 2007 as part of the Construction Procurement Reform Initiative the objectives of which are to achieve greater cost certainty, better value for money and timely and more efficient delivery of projects. A commitment was given to the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) in 2006 by the Minister for Finance at that time that a review would be conducted by the Government Contracts Committee for Construction (GCCC) at an appropriate time when adequate experience had been obtained in the use of the new contracts by contracting authorities. Consideration was given to a review in 2010 but at the time it was agreed that insufficient numbers of contracts had reached final account stage to provide material for a review.

I am satisfied that sufficient projects have now reached agreed final account stage to conduct a review of the performance of the contracts. The CIF’s most recent request for a review is currently being considered and the arrangements about which the Deputy is enquiring will be decided shortly. The Government Construction Contracts Committee (GCCC) was set up under Section 11 of Circular 40/02 ‘Public Procurement Guidelines - revision of existing procedures for approval of certain contracts in the Central Government sector’, which reconfigured the existing arrangements for the Government Contracts Committee. The GCCC deals with public works procurement and related issues. The GCCC has key representatives from the main construction-related Departments and agencies including civil, building and administrative representation. Representatives on GCCC change from time to time, and the current list of members is set out in my reply to Parliamentary Question Ref. No. 7701/13 of 13 February 2013.