The chief procurement officer was appointed in a personal capacity to the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, NPHDB, in 2013 for a five-year term by the then Minister for Health. He was reappointed in 2018 by the current Minister for Health. He is a member of several of the board’s committees.
The members of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, in line with the code of practice for the governance of State bodies and the board’s code of governance, have a fiduciary duty to the board in the first instance, a responsibility to act collectively in decision-making and communication, and an obligation to observe its confidentiality arrangements. The Department of Health, as the accountable Department for the children’s hospital project, established the reporting and governance arrangements for the project through which the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board provided regular updates to it on the project.
On the role of the Office of Government Procurement, responsibility for construction procurement policy and the associated capital works management framework lies with that office. Government policy requires the use of the capital works management framework on all projects delivered under the Exchequer-funded element of the public capital programme.
The public works contract is a key component of the capital works management framework and is a lump sum fixed-price contract that is to be used on all public works projects. It is possible for public bodies to seek a derogation from the use of the standard forms of contract. The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board commenced its formal engagement with the Government contracts committee for construction with a view to securing that derogation.
It is important to note that a derogation does not sanction the approach or strategy of the contracting authority, but simply acknowledges that the circumstances are such as to warrant a different approach than the standard. It is a matter for the contracting authority and the sanctioning authority to satisfy themselves as to the adequacy of the approach in terms of compliance with procurement rules and project appraisal in accordance with the public spending code.