Thursday, 7 March 2019

Ceisteanna (83)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

83. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of public works contracts since 2014 in which the final cost has been the subject of a confidentiality clause; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11401/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

There are no public works contracts, managed by the Office of Public Works since 2014, whose final cost has been subject to a confidentiality clause. The standard public works contracts include a general Confidentiality clause which requires the Employer to keep confidential the Contractor’s rates and prices and any other documents provided under the contract which has been notified by the contractor as being confidential.  However this confidentiality provision does not apply to situations where disclosure is required “for governmental, parliamentary, statutory, administrative, fiscal or judicial purposes, or the publication of an award notice.”

In many public works contracts the final cost is often determined following a conciliation process where the final account is in dispute. The contract provides that the conciliation process and its outcome shall be confidential except where the above mentioned exceptions apply.  Therefore, there is no explicit clause within the standard public works contracts about confidentiality on final cost. Even if such cost was determined following a conciliation process, confidential does not apply where disclosure is required for the above mentioned purposes.