The Office of Public Works (OPW) is managing the delivery of the new Forensic Science Laboratory at the Backweston campus.
The Deputy should be aware that enabling works for Forensic Science Ireland that commenced in October 2017 have now been completed.
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 State Forensics Laboratory in Q4 2018 with a closing date for submissions of 29 March 2019. Due to the complex nature of this project it was necessary to extend the tender return date until May 2019. Tender assessment will then take place during Q3 2019. On completion of the assessment and following the statutory standstill period it is envisaged that construction could commence in Q3/4 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.