Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (173)

Barry Cowen


173. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when a new public spending code will be issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48530/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As part of the ongoing reform of Ireland’s public investment management systems, my Department has undertaken extensive work on the updating of the Public Spending Code.  The purpose of this update is to strengthen the existing guidance to better align with the realities of project delivery and with a particular focus on improved appraisal, cost estimation and management.  

The update of the Public Spending Code was informed by an extensive consultation process involving engagement with over 150 public officials, a review of international best practice, consultation with international experts such as the OECD and the European Investment Bank, and incorporating lessons learned here in Ireland on a wider range of projects including the new National Children’s Hospital. 

The key changes to the Code include:

- Improved structure and usability;

- Greater clarity on governance and roles and responsibilities;

- Robust decision gates requiring formal approvals and clearer governance arrangements as projects progress;

- A requirement to update the business case for a proposed project post tender and before contract award to consider affordability and value for money; and

- Increased transparency through publication of business cases and evaluation reports.

I anticipate that the revised central elements of the Public Spending Code relating to the appraisal and management of public capital projects will be published in the near future following consideration and approval by Government. Further technical guidance building upon these central elements will follow in 2020.