As I advised Government in December 2018, the overall cost to complete the new children’s hospital project is €1,433m – €450m more than advised to Government in April 2017. The Revised Estimates adopted by Government for 2019 provide for the costs arising this year in respect of this priority project. The costs in future years will inform future capital expenditure plans. As the Deputy will be aware, in light of the concerns over the major and sudden cost escalation associated with the finalisation of the Guaranteed Maximum Price, Government also approved the commissioning of an independent review of the escalation in cost at the same time.
The review is examining the contributory factors and associated responsibilities so that any potential weaknesses are identified and comprehensively and speedily resolved in the interests of the successful completion of the project and the effective management of public funds.
While it is not my intention to compromise in any way on the scale and content of this project the terms of reference also require the review to develop recommendations if possible, which may identify any areas of potential cost savings or reductions, which are consistent with the applicable contractual undertakings and the completion of the project to deliver on the vision to improve services for the children and young people of Ireland.
This independent review is underway, and PwC have recently advised that the report is now expected to be completed by early April.