€15.8m in rent paid by State for vacant Department of Health building

€15.8m in rent paid by State for vacant Department of Health building

The Office of Public Works paid millions in rent on a building that no one used for more than a year, according to a new report from the State's public audit office.

A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General for 2017 shows that €15.8m was spent on renting the new headquarters for the Department of Health on Dublin's Baggot street between December 2016 and April 2018.

However, officials only moved into the building this July.

The report says that the Miesian Plaza was identified as "virtually the only option", and there was "no evidence of detailed consideration of other options".

The report found no evidence that other buildings had been seriously considered and no cost analysis or economic appraisal was carried out.

Furthermore, there was no evidence that the full costs of leasing building were identified and evaluated and the risks associated with the project were not set out.

The OPW stated that "alternative accommodation options are always being monitored", including the former Central Bank premises on Dame Street and premises on St Stephen’s Green.

However, these options were either rejected or not pursued by the body.

The annual rent for the building was to be €9,267,000 and it would be leased over a 25-year period.

Digital Desk

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