Thursday, 30 September 2010
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Prison Building Programme
Question 223: To ask the Minister for Justice and Law Reform his plans to carry out a major refurbishment of a premises (details supplied) in Dublin 7; if he will confirm that the detailed financial evaluation for the project and the estimate of the potential building costs involved which is required for all such capital projects has been prepared; if he will state when this evaluation was prepared and by whom; if he will publish same; his plans to relocate staff to the refurbished premises who are currently housed in another premises in Clondalkin at which the State is already committed to a long term rental lease and which then will be unoccupied; if this represents a responsible use of State funds in all the circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34167/10]
I wish to inform the Deputy that the premises he particularly refers to in Dublin 7 are the property of the Commissioners of Public Works and have been made available at no cost to the Irish Prison Service. I am informed by the Irish Prison Service that plans are at an advanced stage to undertake a comprehensive refurbishment of the premises. The principal reason for redevelopment is to facilitate works that will result in a substantial increase in prisoner capacity within the nearby female prison known as the DÃ³chas Centre. When completed, the joint projects at DÃ³chas and the premises referred to by the Deputy will result in the provision of accommodation for approximately 70 additional female prisoners within the DÃ³chas Centre. In addition to the extra prisoner accommodation, there are also plans to accommodate Irish Prison Service personnel at this site who occasionally have a requirement to spend time in Dublin.
An invitation to tender for the refurbishment works and for provision of new prisoner accommodation at the DÃ³chas Centre issued to all eight member firms of the Irish Prison Service's Construction Framework Arrangement on Friday last, September 24th. 2010. As a tender competition is currently in progress it would be inappropriate for me to comment on this matter as issues of commercial sensitivity and confidentiality arise. However, I can confirm that the proposal to refurbish the premises in question has been properly and fully evaluated by officials within the Irish Prison Service and its technical advisors. Matters pertaining to the leasing of a premises in Clondalkin are pertinent to the Office of Public Works and the Irish Prison Service has no involvement in this issue.