Project Ireland 2040, which comprises the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2027 and the National Planning Framework (NPF), was launched by the Government on 16th February 2018. The NDP seeks to reform how public investment is planned and delivered. It sets out a strategic vision for Ireland’s public capital infrastructure priorities over the next 10 years that is strictly aligned with the National Strategic Outcomes for Ireland’s new spatial strategy contained in the NPF.
The plan signals a shift to a greater integration of regional investment plans, stronger co-ordination of sectorial strategies and more rigorous selection and appraisal of projects to secure value-for-money. A suite of key reforms has been introduced to support the efficient implementation of Project Ireland 2040 and its objectives including:
- The establishment of a Construction Sector Group to ensure regular and open dialogue between Government and the construction sector;
- A Project Ireland 2040 Delivery Board consisting of Departmental Secretaries General that meets regularly to ensure effective leadership of the implementation process;
- The establishment of an Investment Projects and Programmes Office in my Department to coordinate reporting on the plan and to drive reforms, including strengthened business case and project appraisal;
- The publication of a Capital Projects tracker to inform citizens about projects in their areas and to give a greater overview to the construction sector;
- A Capability Review of public sector bodies is being undertaken by my Department to ensure that the State’s delivery practices are of the highest standard; and
- As part of the ongoing reform of Ireland’s capital management systems, the Office of Government Procurement is conducting a review of construction procurement strategy and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is reviewing the Public Spending Code. The purpose of these reviews is to strengthen the existing guidance to better align with the realities of project delivery and with a particular focus on improved financial appraisal, cost estimation and management.
These reforms are designed to support public bodies as they work to achieve value for money and to maximise outcomes from investment in public capital infrastructure.
As the Deputy will be aware, projections for general government revenue and expenditure beyond 2023 have not yet been compiled. However, Project Ireland 2040 does set out the national spending envelope up to 2027, allocated to each National Strategic Outcome to ensure that Project Ireland 2040 objectives can be pursued in the light of the expected funding allocation.