Thursday, 11 April 2019
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Social and Affordable Housing
210. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the measure for inflation used in the calculation of the public sector benchmark for the first bundle of public private partnership social housing agreed in March 2019. [17035/19]
217. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if there was a risk adjustment included in the public sector benchmark exercise for the social housing PPP contract signed in March 2019. [17048/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 210 and 217 together.
A risk adjustment is included in the Public Sector Benchmark (PSB) for Bundle 1 of the Social Housing PPP Programme. This PSB was compiled in full accordance with Department of Finance and Department of Public Expenditure guidance. The guidance clearly states the public sector benchmark should include the whole life cost, including risk, to the Sponsoring Agency of procuring the project using traditional procurement.
With regard to the inflation rate that is included in the same Public Sector Benchmark, the most up to date Department of Public Expenditure and Reform guidance concerning the rates of inflation to be used when calculating public sector benchmarks is available at the following link: www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/1a0dcb-project-discount-inflation-rates/.
As the Deputy will be aware, it is not possible at the present time to release details of project specific risk adjustment or inflation indices as they are important components of the methodology used for costing public sector projects through the PSB.
Current policy is that the final PSB, or any elements thereof, is not made public during the tendering process, on the basis that revealing the amount that the State may pay for a service may impact the value for money achieved and the pricing behaviour of those submitting tender applications. As such, this is deemed to be commercially sensitive information.
This guidance also applies where it is intended to procure further similar projects in the near future. As part of the ongoing Social Housing PPP programme, tenders for Bundle 2 are currently being evaluated, and the process for Bundle 3 is due to commence shortly.
The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has indicated that following the completion of the construction phase of a PPP, once an appropriate period of time has elapsed and the commercial sensitivity of the information on the project is no longer an issue (having regard also to any other similar PPP projects which may be in pre-procurement), the PSB should be made public.