'People are entitled to look for a head', PAC hears as printer costs hit €1.8m

The purchase and installation a new printer in Leinster House has cost €1.8m, a report reveals.

'People are entitled to look for a head', PAC hears as printer costs hit €1.8m

Latest: Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have been scathing in their criticism of the Oireachtas printing scandal at a meeting this morning.

A report from the Clerk of the Dáil found that the purchase and installation a new printer in Leinster House has cost €1.8m

Fianna Fáil’s Marc MacSharry said cases like this happen because there is no sanction even in cases where there is blatant incompetence.

He said that if this happened in a private company, people would be shown the door.

“This is basic cop on, people are entitled to look for a head,” Mr MacSharry said.

Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane directed his criticism at Clerk of the Dáil, Peter Finnegan, who he said failed to spell out the full costs and troubles of this project when he appeared before the committee in the summer.

“This was a mess from start to finish and we were not informed when the accounting officer was before us,” he said.

“It is clear mistakes were made but it is not clear from this report who made them,” he added.

Several committee members requested that Mr Finnegan be called back in before the PAC to discuss his seven-page report delivered to the PAC on Thursday morning.

Fine Gael’s Peter Burke centred his concerns on the role of the OPW, saying it has a “chequered history” in this area.

He said the overrun in costs would build a fine four-bed house in Mullingar.

Fianna Fáil’s Bobby Aylward said he was very concerned about the revelations but said that nobody will be held to account.

This has gone wrong, someone has to take account, people are struggling and money is wasted like this. Someone needs to stand up and take the rap for it.

His colleague, Shane Cassells, called for a deeper analysis of the reasons as to how this overspend occurred.

He also sought clarity as to the workings of the Oireachtas contracts committee.

PAC chairman Sean Fleming, read out the main details of Mr Finnegan’s report into the saga, first revealed by the Irish Times last weekend, and revealed the total cost of the project has come to €1.8m when OPW structural costs and VAT are included.

Earlier: Purchase and installation of Dáil printer cost €1.8m, report finds

By Elaine Loughlin

The purchase and installation a new printer in Leinster House has cost €1.8m, a report reveals.

It had been thought that the new printing machine, which was found to be too big for the room when it arrived, had cost just over €800,000.

However, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has this morning received a report revealing the actual cost of the printing equipment, which came in five lots, was just over €1.3m.

Clerk of the Dáil Peter Finnegan - who ordered the investigation - has told PAC that “the requirements of the building and other regulations in relation to head height were neither understood nor examined during the critical early stages of the project”.

As a result significant building and restructuring work had to be carried out before the printer could be placed in the room which cost another €229,000 exclusive of VAT.

The report also states that the OPW took the opportunity to carry out “necessary additional works on the fabric of the building” while the contractor was on site.

This amounted to a further €195,000 which included €30,000 on electrical works and €138,000 on air conditioning.

The PAC will today examine and discuss the report.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.