Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (171, 172, 173)

Jim O'Callaghan

Ceist:

171. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of a new State forensic science laboratory; the reason for the delay in the construction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7787/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jim O'Callaghan

Ceist:

172. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position with regard to the premises of the national forensic library; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7788/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jim O'Callaghan

Ceist:

173. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the spend to date on preparatory works for a new facility for the national forensic library; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7789/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 171 to 173, inclusive, together.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) is managing the delivery of the new Forensic Science Laboratory at the Backweston Campus, Co. Kildare. The Deputy should be aware that enabling works for the laboratory commenced in October 2017 and have now been completed. This was at a total cost of €2,849,006, including VAT.

However, due to recent changes in international forensic laboratory standards, the merging of the Garda Technical Bureau with Forensic Science Ireland and changes to staff numbers, it was necessary to add further material to the tender documentation. The issues involved, relate primarily to laboratory interior finishes and mechanical and electrical adjustments.

On completion of this examination it was possible to re-invite tenders from the shortlist of building contractors for the new Forensics Laboratory in Q4 2018. Tender submissions will be received in Q1 and Q2, 2019. Tender assessment will take place in Q2/3 2019. On completion of the assessment and following the statutory standstill period, it is anticipated that construction should commence in Q3/Q4 2019. When the construction contract for the main building is placed, the estimated construction period is 24 months followed by a validation and test period prior to occupation.