Of the 38 major capital projects in health and education completed since 2010, the final bill exceeded the agreed tender price in 35 of the projects, according to figures released to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath TD.  The extra bills amount to some €42m.

Deputy McGrath sought details – for every capital project costing €10m or more since 2010 – of the agreed tender price and of the final amount paid on completion of the project.

“Of the 15 major school building projects completed since 2010, every single one ended up costing more than the agreed tender price. Across these projects, the total amount paid was almost €12m more than the contracted price. While the average overspend came in at 6%, the cost of one school building project was as much as 22% above the contract price”, said Deputy McGrath.

“In health, 20 of the 23 major capital projects since 2010 ended up costing more than the agreed contract price. The total extra amount paid above and beyond what was contracted was €30.5m. While various reasons have been offered by the HSE including changes in project scope, it is deeply concerning that almost 90% of capital projects in health cost more than planned during this period.

“While the sums involved in the National Children’s Hospital debacle are extraordinary, this data shows the difficulties in managing capital projects do not end there. These figures show a clear pattern of projects costing more than the agreed contract price. It is time for a root and branch review of how public capital projects are managed in this country. We need to know why so many projects end up costing taxpayers far more than planned and we need to stop this trend.

“I have forwarded all of these details to the Comptroller & Auditor General for consideration as part of his work in scrutinising public spending, and in particular the way capital projects are managed.”