Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (299)

Róisín Shortall


299. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 88 of 17 November 2020, the steps that will be taken to recoup the rent overpayment of €10 million for Miesian Plaza; and the steps that have been taken to ensure that a similar error does not occur in the future. [38774/20]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The rent being paid by the Commissioners of Public Works in respect of the offices at Block 1, Miesian Plaza is in accordance with the terms of the lease. An ambiguity around the measurement standard used as a basis for the rent calculation in Miesian Plaza was first identified during the course of an OPW internal review and subsequently in a Comptroller & Auditor General examination of the lease process in early 2018. The variance in annual rent payment arising from the different measurement standards amounts to €279,827 plus VAT.

Since the issue was identified the Commissioners have engaged with the Landlord in relation to the measurement standard applied with a view to mitigating the impact of this ambiguity. While an agreement has not yet been reached with the Landlord communications are ongoing in this regard.

The Commissioners’ processes have been reviewed and strengthened to ensure a similar situation cannot arise in future. A thorough examination of the final version of all leases is carried out by OPW staff who have not been involved in the lease negotiations, prior to execution of the lease. This is to ensure that the final lease accurately reflects what was agreed during negotiations.

Miesian Plaza is one of Dublin’s most significant Government accommodation locations and one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – a third party verification system for green buildings) Platinum buildings in Ireland, meeting best international energy efficiency and environmental standards for office buildings. It provides modern, energy efficient, 4th generation office space with almost 950 workstations. It has allowed the occupying Departments to move from a highly cellular working environment to one that is modern, open plan and efficient in supporting collaborative working. It also has allowed for the release of other property in the city for potential redevelopment.