Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (261)

Mattie McGrath


261. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to cost overruns on contracts within his Department with a value in excess of €10 million that came in more than 10% over budget in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; if so, the details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8421/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School building projects in excess of €10m typically arise at post-primary level rather than at primary level.

It can generally take quite a while for final accounts on projects to be submitted by contractors and then get finalised and agreed. Over the period since 2016 a total of five large-scale projects that delivered eight new school buildings had building contracts in excess of €10m and had final accounts agreed. When combined there was just under a 5% difference between the tender (contract) sum and the agreed final account for these five large-scale school building projects. The following table sets out the position in respect of one of the five large-scale school building projects where the final account has been agreed and which was just over 10% in excess of the tender price. There is a process in place for dealing with requests for change orders to existing contracts and these typically relate to matters such as unforeseen events during the construction process, requirement for additional works etc.

My Department carefully manages and control costs on all projects in order to ensure best possible outcomes for the investment being made under the capital programme.

The measures in place to manage and control costs on large-scale school building projects include:

- Detailed procedures in place for appraisal, design, tender and construction of large-scale school building projects.

- Standardisation of sizes and layouts for classrooms and other rooms in schools.

- Detailed design team procedures that involve Department approval for progression through the various stages of design and tendering.

- Design Team fees tendered on percentage basis and then locked in to a fixed sum when design has been developed at Stage 2A of design process.

- Planning permission and design completed before tender process commences which gives clarity to tenderers on scope of project

- Contracts tendered on a fixed price basis using the standard form of Government contract – which gives certainty in relation to managing the impact of construction inflation.

- Procedures in place for provision of monthly progress reports and arrangements for dealing with any requests for change orders to existing contracts.

In addition to the school project listed in the attachment 7 schools were delivered during the period by way of Public Private Partnership (PPP). In the case of such projects, the cost (which also includes Facilities Management and lifecycle costs) is determined at Financial Close and payment by the Department is by way of monthly Unitary Charges over the operational period, usually 25 years.

Information in respect of capital projects in the Higher Education Sector with building contracts in excess of €10m and with final accounts agreed and 10% higher than the building contracts will be forwarded separately to the Deputy when the relevant information is collated and finalised.

Building Contracts in excess of €10m



Roll No.



Contract Sum Incl VAT

Date LOA signed/ Contract commenced

Final Account Agreed Sum incl VAT

Reason for variation: Change Orders, Conciliation etc




Edmund Rice College, Carrigaline





Approved change orders