Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (235)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

235. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will publish the public sector benchmarking exercise used in the first bundle of the social housing PPPs. [2726/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Public Sector Benchmark (PSB) is an essential part of any PPP project. It contains commercially sensitive information in relation to the methodology used for costing public sector projects and for the pricing of risks by public sector bodies. In accordance with Department of Public Expenditure and Reform guidelines (Guidelines for the use of Public Private Partnerships), the final PSB, or any elements thereof, is not made public during the tendering process nor where it is intended to procure further similar projects in the near future (e.g. subsequent project bundles as part of an ongoing PPP programme).

Construction is currently continuing on the remaining homes from Bundles 1 and 2 of the PPP programme, and the remaining homes across both bundles scheduled for completion later this year. My Department and the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) are currently working with the relevant Local Authorities to progress the third bundle of sites in this PPP programme. The NDFA, in its role as procuring authority and financial advisor, and Dublin City Council, as lead local authority and Sponsoring Agency, have commenced the design phase and planning for the tender process in conjunction with the relevant local authorities. It is planned that tenders will be invited from PPP consortia towards the end of this year.

As Bundle 3 will follow the same structure as Bundles 1 and 2 and given the potential impact on value for money for the State, it is not appropriate to release the PSB for Bundle 1 at this time. However, and in accordance with Department of Public Expenditure and Reform guidelines, once an appropriate period of time has elapsed and the commercial sensitivity of the information on the project is no longer an issue (having regard also to any other similar PPP projects which may be in pre-procurement), the PSB should be made public. My Department will follow these guidelines in relation to the social housing PPP programme.