Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Health

Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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76. To ask the Minister for Health the steps he intends taking to shorten the processes involved in developing major health capital projects in order to provide necessary medical facilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16769/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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The delivery of capital projects is a dynamic process and is subject to the successful completion of the various approval stages, in line with the new lifecycle approach of the updated Public Spending Code (PSC).

The PSC is designed to ensure that investment decisions are underpinned by a clear policy rationale, and that costs are well understood. In 2019, the PSC was updated and introduced a new project lifecycle, tightening the arrangements for project decision-making, and clarifying the roles of the parties involved including the responsibilities for Sponsoring Agencies and Approving Authorities.

These are defined processes in which all Departments and agencies are subject to and must follow to ensure that Government, as the approving authority for all major projects, can be satisfied that the project is the best means to achieve a policy goal and that we achieve maximum value for money for the taxpayer.

The specific requirements that must be included in a business case at the various stages of the PSC are detailed at www.gov.ie/en/publication/public-spending-code/

The Department of Health is working with the HSE, as a Sponsoring Agency, to ensure that new capital investment proposals are initiated in line with this new lifecycle approach and through all subsequent stages. For projects that pre-date the updated PSC, the Department, the HSE and project boards are working, with input from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform as appropriate, to ensure that these projects can be incorporated into this lifecycle approach.

The HSE and the Department of Health have a significant number of projects underway and in development. The vast majority of these are projects with an investment of less than €100m and under the PSC the Department is the approving authority. In these instances officials are working with the HSE and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to implement proportionate measures for the application of PSC requirements.


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