Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ceisteanna (213)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

213. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the pre-qualification of contractor's report for the construction of a school (details supplied) was approved on 2 October 2018; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that tenders have to date not been invited from the short-list of contractors; his views on whether it is unacceptable that the pre-qualification process is now in its tenth month when it should only take two to three months; if his officials will contact the design team for the project to progress it to tender forthwith; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5022/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The major building project referred to by the Deputy is at an advanced stage of architectural planning, Stage 2(b) – Detailed Design which includes the application for Planning Permission, Fire Cert and Disability Access Cert and the preparation of tender documents. All statutory approvals have been secured.

In line with normal procedure, in early October, the outcome of the pre-qualification process was notified to contractors who expressed interest in tendering for this project. One of the unsuccessful parties has challenged the outcome, resulting in a delay with progressing the project to tender stage. The school and its Board of Management have been taking legal advice in respect of this challenge and my Department has been in regular contact with school authorities and the school's Design Team throughout the process.

Following consideration of legal advice the school has, in consultation with the Department, taken the decision to cancel the pre-qualification process with a view to commencing a new process shortly. While this delay is regrettable it has been outside of the control of the school, its design team and the Department.

When the new pre-qualification exercise has been successfully concluded, the project will then be progressed to tender stage. My Department will remain in close contact with the school and its design team throughout the process to minimise the risk of any further delays.