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.