Thursday, 1 February 2018

Ceisteanna (20)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

20. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills the contracts between his Department and a company (details supplied); if the contracts are insured; the consequences for the delivery of the contracted service or construction projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4893/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

A contract exists between my Department and the PPP Company Inspiredspaces in respect of the Schools Bundle 5 PPP programme.  Inspiredspaces is the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) responsible for the design, construction, finance, operation and maintenance of the buildings included in the programme.

Inspiredspaces is a joint venture between Carillion and the Dutch Infrastructure fund (DIF).  Following the liquidation of Carillion, DIF is now required to intervene to ensure that the schools in the PPP programme are completed to the satisfaction of the State.  

The State's protection in this context lies in the robust provisions of the PPP contract, namely the contractual obligations and financial imperatives for the PPP Company, and its funders, to rectify the impact of the liquidation, and to deliver the buildings and the services within the shortest possible timeframe.

It is fully understandable that everybody connected with the schools is seeking certainty on the timing of completion.  However, DIF has also asked for understanding that the process of putting in place the necessary rectification measures will require some time, particularly given the scale, complexity and long-term nature of the contract. The outcome of this process will provide greater clarity in relation to likely school completion dates. 

The NDFA is managing the contract on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills and remains in very close contact with DIF.  DIF has confirmed that resolution of the situation is its top priority. Both the Department and NDFA are satisfied that everything possible is being done to ensure delivery of the schools in as timely a manner as possible. 

In accordance with the contract, Inspired Spaces has taken out insurances for the construction works: these policies remain valid and in place.  Inspired Spaces will be obliged to take out insurances for the 25 year services period prior to opening of the schools.