Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Ceisteanna (209, 210)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

209. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the details of all costs covered by the monthly availability payment to a consortium (details supplied) for the first tranche of 534 PPP social houses. [16888/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

210. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the public sector benchmark exercised conducted to ensure value for money in the awarding of contracts to public private contracts to consortia for the delivery of the first tranche of social housing awarded in March 2019 to a company (details supplied) will be published. [16898/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 209 and 210 together.

This PPP contract is paid through a monthly unitary payment. This payment incorporates all costs under the contract, including the initial construction costs of the units, or what might be referred to as the pure "bricks and mortar" costs.  It also includes management and maintenance costs, such as the day-to-day upkeep of the properties, general facilities management, and tenancy management.

Other costs covered by this payment under the contract include the costs of finance for the project, projected inflation over the 25 years of the contract's operational life, and the costs of complying with other terms of the contract, including that defined quality requirements are delivered upon when the homes involved are passed over to the local authorities concerned at the end of the 25 year contract period.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Public Sector Benchmark (PSB) is an essential part of any PPP project. It contains commercially sensitive information in relation to the methodology used for costing public sector projects and for the pricing of risks by public sector bodies.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform have indicated that following the completion of the construction phase of a PPP, once an appropriate period of time has elapsed and the commercial sensitivity of the information on the project is no longer an issue (having regard also to any other similar PPP projects which may be in pre-procurement), the PSB should be made public.

However, current policy is that the final PSB, or any elements thereof, is not made public during the tendering process, on the basis that revealing the amount that the State may pay for a service may give tenderers an opportunity to increase their asking price above what they might otherwise seek. This guidance also applies where it is intended to procure further similar projects in the near future.

As part of the ongoing Social Housing PPP programme, tenders for Bundle 2 are currently being evaluated, and the process for Bundle 3 is due to commence shortly. While the PSB will be released in due course in accordance with the approach outlined above, it is not possible to release it at this time given the potential impact on value for money for the State for these future contracts.