On 23 July this year my Department launched the multi-annual Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure Resolution Programme. In parallel to this, local authorities were invited to submit their bids under the programme for the funding of projects in their functional area. The development of such a multi-annual funding programme was a key recommendation of the report on the National Taking-in-Charge Initiative that was published by my Department in December 2018.
The programme will enable the progressive resolution, on a priority basis, of substandard Developer-Provided Water Services Infrastructure, commonly called DPI, much of which was installed in housing estates during the building boom of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. These privately owned and temporary facilities provide mostly wastewater treatment with a small number providing drinking water.
The closing date for bids under the programme was 18 September 2019. A total of 19 local authorities with Developer Provided Infrastructure in estates in their areas made applications under the programme for support. Donegal County Council included the estates listed in the details supplied in its application.
My Department is currently completing a preliminary evaluation and clarification process on the bids received with the local authorities. The intention is to shortly set up an Expert Panel to independently evaluate the bids and recommend suitable projects for funding. This evaluation will take place over the coming months. Membership of the Panel will include departmental, stakeholder and independent representation in the Chair.
The Expert Panel will make recommendations to me on the suitability of projects for funding under the programme based on the criteria set out in the Framework document issued to local authorities when requesting proposals. The Panel will report to my Department when its examination of the bids is concluded. I expect to be in a position to make announcements in early 2020 on approvals and allocations once that process is concluded and has been considered by my Department.