Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1641)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

1641. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to plans by TII to tender for an independent expert panel for MetroLink and the fact that local stakeholders (details supplied) are concerned regarding the independence of the process and have requested that his Department would be a more appropriate body to recruit the panel and ensure objectivity; and if consideration will be given to the request. [36697/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

I think there is a potential misunderstanding as regards the role and function of this expert panel as referred to by the Deputy.

The Public Spending Code sets out the responsibilities of Government, Sanctioning Authorities and Sponsoring Agencies in relation to the oversight and delivery of individual projects such as MetroLink.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland is the Sponsoring Agency in relation to the MetroLink project and is therefore the primary responsible body for the preparation, management and delivery of this project. The Public Spending Code states that the Sponsoring Agency “has overall responsibility for the proper management of the project, including its detailed planning. .”.

It is a matter for TII to put in place such arrangements as it thinks necessary to assist it with the performance of its role as Sponsoring Agency under the Public Spending Code . Establishment of such a panel of experts, as referred to by the Deputy, by a Sponsoring Agency is not unusual for a project of the scale of MetroLink. It will act in an advisory capacity to TII at project delivery level.

The Deputy is aware that the Public Spending Code requires significant projects, such as MetroLink, to seek Government’s approval at certain decision points and I will, at the appropriate times, bring Memoranda to Government in relation to those decision points.