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.