The government has announced measures to ensure the delivery of Exchequer-funded capital projects under Project Ireland 2040.
The public health measures, introduced at the end of March to halt the progress of Covid-19, imposed restrictions on many areas of the economy including the construction sector.
In a statement this evening, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, said, mindful that a sustainable and flexible construction sector is crucial to the delivery of Project Ireland 2040 and the continued contribution of public investment to our economic well-being, the government is conscious of the need to proactively manage risks that arise from these necessary impositions.
The Minister announced measures to manage these risks in the short term, safeguarding the integrity of Project Ireland 2040 and providing for a timely restart to construction, when circumstances and public health measures allow.
The measures include:
- Detailed consideration by the Project Ireland 2040 Delivery Board and key delivery agencies as to how a phased and orderly restart can best be achieved.
- Continuation of the planning and preparation of projects in the Project Ireland 2040 pipeline by Departments to facilitate a timely restart and acceleration of certain projects to support construction activity as the sector recovers.
- Extending the tender deadlines by 6 weeks for all tenders associated with construction and construction services contracts, giving businesses an opportunity to assess the impact of restrictions on their tender.
- Deferring the award of contracts for construction and construction services contracts unless there are compelling reasons to do so.
- Ensuring that pre-construction design work continues up to a state of pre-tender readiness so that projects are ready to go to tender once the Public Health Measures are relaxed.
- Extending ex gratia interim payments to contractors on public works contracts to cover certain non-pay fixed costs associated with site closures from 12 April 2020 until midnight on 4 May 2020 and subject to further extension should the current restrictions continue.
Minister Donohoe said, “Public investment will continue to play an important role as the economy recovers. Accelerating the delivery of key projects will ensure that construction activity is stimulated, as well as delivering the homes, schools, liveable places and other infrastructure our people will need.
“The planned continuity in public investment under Project Ireland 2040 will act as an economic stabiliser while continuing to address the well-established demand for public infrastructure.”
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