In July last year, I announced the Government's €2.25 billion infrastructure stimulus package, which included €1.4 billion for the first phase of a new public private partnership, PPP, programme of projects in key areas of infrastructure. Given the very limited PPP activity in the preceding few years coupled with the difficult recent period for the financial and construction sector, it was clear that a range of supporting measures were needed to help reactivate the Irish PPP market, which was moribund, and instil market confidence in the new PPP programme so as to ensure maximum potential participants, both domestically and internationally.
Following advice from the National Development Finance Agency, NDFA, the State's centre of expertise for the specialist procurement of PPP projects, in December 2012 the Government decided that on a temporary and exceptional basis, provision would be made for some reimbursement of bid costs for accommodation projects in the new PPP programme to ensure competitive tension in the tendering process. Competitive tension is essential to ensure we get best value for money for the State. The Government agreed that compliant tender fees would be issued to two unsuccessful final stage bidders. In addition, in the unlikely event that it was decided not to progress any of these projects, payment would be made to the three short-listed tenderers.
The NDFA advised on the level of reimbursement of costs required to deliver market engagement and achieve the results required. Payment amounts will vary from project to project, reflecting the capital value and complexity of the project, as well as the level of any inputs provided by the sanctioning authority, with a cap on the maximum amount to be paid.