Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Justice and Equality
Courts Service Properties
252. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the final cost for renovation of the courthouse in Mullingar, County Westmeath; and the percentage increase on the original costing. [9314/19]
As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998 management of the courts, including the provision of accommodation for court sittings, is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions.
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has advised that Mullingar Courthouse was delivered in 2018 under Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements as part of the Courts PPP Bundle Project. This project also delivered new or refurbished courthouses at Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, Letterkenny and Drogheda. All seven courthouse were procured as part of a single project with a total capital value of approximately €150 million excluding VAT. The capital value of Mullingar Courthouse was approximately €14 million excluding VAT.
The Courts Service has further advised that Public Private Partnership projects are paid for by means of a Unitary Charge over a 25 year period after construction. The Unitary Charge for the Courts PPP Bundle project includes payment for a range of services over the 25 year period in addition to repaying the capital cost of construction. The Courts Service has informed me that there has been no change in the annual Unitary Charge since the project agreement was signed. There has been an additional €1.36 million excluding VAT in capital expenditure incurred across the entire bundle in respect of changes/additions to specifications sought by court users and additional archaeology costs incurred during the construction phase and this equates to less than 1% of the capital cost. Discussions have yet to conclude concerning a number of claims and these are expected to conclude by the end of March 2019.