Sinn Féin TD for Louth Imelda Munster received confirmation today at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee that the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) has “no idea” what the final cost of the project will be.
Deputy Munster was questioning Mr Fred Barry, Chair of the NPHDB, and others at a PAC meeting this morning.
Deputy Munster said:
“The Guaranteed Maximum Price of €1.7billion is aspirational rather than a reality.
“Today we heard that despite a Guaranteed Maximum Price, there are substantial risks of overspend, such as delays, contractor claims and inflation.
“The Board has no idea what the final cost will be.
“The Chair of the Board told us today that the project is already two months behind schedule, and there is no clear plan as to how to get it back on track.
“The confirmation today that the project could encounter further overruns should come as no surprise, given the admission by the board at today’s meeting that past performance by tendering contractors was not a criteria of the procurement process.
“We know that contractors’ history, and we know that there is no way of limiting contractor claims, inflation, and no clear plan to deal with project delays.
“Overruns from this project led to cuts in the capital budget for health and other projects lost out as a result. We need to ensure that does not happen again.
“It’s clear that we need more transparency and greater accountability when it comes to this project.”