'Systemic barriers' to project delivery threaten success of National Development Plan

'Systemic barriers' to project delivery threaten success of National Development Plan

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Michael McGrath and Environment and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan at the launch of the National Development Plan at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork, on Monday. Picture: Julien Behal

The National Development Plan will only work if certain "systemic barriers" to project delivery are removed, the construction industry has warned.

Construction Industry Federation director general Tom Parlon said the NDP could only transform Irish society if these blockages in the State’s infrastructure and housing delivery systems were tackled.

“Already construction companies at the front line of delivery are reporting a slowdown in the tendering, approval and commencement of projects, particularly in regions outside the greater Dublin area,” he said.

He said the Government contract was now inadequate, outdated and antiquated and needed reform.

“New forms of contract such as new engineering contract used extensively across the EU must be adopted across the public sector to avoid ‘patchy’ delivery in certain regions or across types of projects,” he said.

Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath said the National Development Plan contains an entire chapter on improving delivery.

He said his department planned to add five external members to the Project Ireland delivery board, to complement existing civil servant expertise.

He said the process to identify those who have been involved in the private sector, those who’ve been involved in delivering infrastructure projects internationally, will get under way shortly through an open competitive process.

And he also said a panel of external experts would be set up to advise the relevant department, at two key decision-making stages of major projects, on potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.

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