Under Department of Public Expenditure rules, public projects costing more than €20 million must first undergo a detailed Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA), which can take months to complete.

PQ data received by Fianna Fáil Housing Spokesperson Darragh O’Brien TD shows that the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform does not keep statistics on the length of time each Cost Benefit Analysis takes. However, recent FOI information reports from Dublin City Council have shown serious concerns around housing project delays caused by completing CBA’s.

Commenting on the PQ reply Deputy O’Brien stated “We are in the middle of a national housing crisis but last year Local Authorities missed their targets for building social housing units. It’s clear from concerns stated by officials in Local Government that Government red tape is one factor in slowing down bricks and mortar being put in the ground.

“I am shocked the Department does not bother to collect data on how long getting through this red tape takes each project. The Department sets the rules but in failure of joined up thinking, fails to see what impact they actually have. It’s clear that the Department is ignoring the pressing need and scale of the housing crisis and sticking to rigid rules. Value for money and efficiency should go hand in hand but the Department is focused on box ticking, not building.

“The Department needs to fully and quickly review its spending code rules and allow more large-scale housing projects to undergo development without jumping through onerous bureaucratic hoops that do not reflect the reality on the ground.

“The newly established Investment Projects and Programmes Office (IPPO) should be tasked with cutting down delays and ensuring that delivery time is a critical factor in evaluating housing projects,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.