I propose to take Questions Nos. 358, 371 and 384 together.
I refer to the reply to Questions Nos. 127, 128, 129 and 130 of 26 March 2014 which sets outs out clearly the background context leading to the making of the Building Control (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2014. The position remains unchanged. I will make arrangements to have the letter of 5 February 2014 received from the Minister for Education and Skills, referred to in the reply, placed in the Oireachtas Library. This is the only written representation I received from another Minister in relation to this matter.
As indicated, my Department consulted with relevant Departments/ agencies represented on the Government Contracts Committee for Construction (GCCC), in relation to the implications of the Regulations for the public capital programme. Several Departments/Agencies, including the Department of Education and Skills, the National Development Finance Agency and the Health Services Executive, expressed concerns that the new requirements may cause delays in the Public Capital Programme. Large-scale public infrastructure projects, in particular, are prone to costly delays due to strict national and EU procurement rules which do not generally apply to private sector projects. Other agencies, notably the OPW, reported that the necessary arrangements were in place to administer contracts in accordance with the new requirements.
I understand that the Office of Government Procurement at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has issued Guidance Note 1.1.1 – Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 – Procurement Implications for Contracting Authorities. Concerns in relation to the clarity and definition of the Assigned Certifier on public procurement projects do not therefore arise.
Outside of the application of the Building Control (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2014, my Department will liaise closely with industry stakeholders and relevant Departments/agencies in order to ensure that no unforeseen difficulties will arise in relation to the delivery of large scale capital investment projects.