Written answers

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Capital Expenditure Programme

Photo of Alan FarrellAlan Farrell (Dublin Fingal, Fine Gael)
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144. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on the delivery of key Project Ireland 2040 commitments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1636/23]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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As Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery, and Reform I am responsible for setting the overall capital allocations across Departments. Management and delivery of individual investment projects within the allocations agreed under the NDP is a key responsibility of every Department and Minister. In relation to the changed name for my Department, I am currently examining the support structures and levers available across Government in order to maximise delivery of vital infrastructure such as housing, schools, hospitals, roads and public transport. All options to improve delivery and ensure that capital allocations are best utilised will be examined early in 2023, with necessary reforms to be implemented shortly after.

The National Development Plan 2021 – 2030 (NDP), together with the National Planning Framework (NPF), combine to form Project Ireland 2040, which sets the overarching spatial strategy for the next twenty years for the social, economic and cultural development of Ireland.

The NDP published in October 2021 provides a detailed and positive vision for Ireland over the next 10 years and delivers total public investment of €165 billion over the period 2021-2030. The NDP establishes the Government’s over-arching investment framework and broad direction for investment priorities for this decade. The NDP also set out the range of actions that are being taken to strengthen delivery, maximise value for money and ensure to the greatest extent possible that projects are delivered on time, on budget and with the benefits targeted at the outset.

In 2023, over €12 billion will be made available from the Exchequer for investment in public capital projects, which will provide more schools, homes, hospitals and other pieces of vital infrastructure. This level of expenditure will be pivotal in consolidating the progress already made, and, most importantly, delivering the necessary infrastructure to support our future climate change obligations as well as our social and economic requirements.

The Project Ireland 2040 Delivery Board oversees the delivery of the NDP and in 2022, five external members were appointed to the Board to bring additional expert knowledge, independent and regional perspectives, and an enhanced challenge function to the deliberations of the Board.

Two initiatives were introduced to strengthen the assurance process for major public investment projects to provide more structured scrutiny. An External Assurance Process (EAP), to provide independent scrutiny for major public capital projects over €100 million and the establishment of the Major Projects Advisory Group (MPAG) who scrutinise project proposals and external reviews as a prerequisite to seeking Government approval for major projects.

The Government is also committed to continue to detail the delivery of the NDP at regular intervals into the future to allow for full transparency on the implementation of Project Ireland 2040. This will be achieved through regular updates of the Project Ireland 2040 capital investment tracker and map as well as the publication of annual reports and regional reports highlighting Project Ireland 2040 achievements and giving a detailed overview of the public investments that have been made throughout the country.


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