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Ó Broin expresses concern at use of Public Private Partnerships for Housing

27 March, 2018 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has again expressed concern at the use of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) for the delivery of social housing. A special report published by the European Court of Auditors outlines a number of problems with the PPP model for the delivery of public projects.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“A report by the European Court Of Auditors has outlined a number of difficulties with the PPP model for the delivery of public projects; namely, around issues including insufficient competition for contracting authorities, procurement delays, project cost increases and failure to demonstrate value for money.

“Sinn Féin raised similar concerns a year ago when the then-Minister for Housing Simon Coveney was outlining his plans to eventually deliver 1,500 houses across Dublin and the neighbouring counties of Louth, Wicklow, and Kildare via the PPP model.

“In a submission to the Department of Housing on that issue, Sinn Féin raised a number of matters including lack of transparency in the setting of the public sector benchmark.

“This makes it extremely difficult to compare the cost of local authorities building and maintaining the homes to the cost of private operators delivering the houses. This contributes to the failure to demonstrate value for money.

“One of the key recommendations of the European Auditors report is to ‘base the selection of the PPP option on sound comparative analyses on the best procurement option’.

“We also suggested that the Oireachtas Housing and Public Accounts Committees should be given a joint role to fully scrutinise the project to provide an additional layer of public oversight over the progression of these projects.

“We need social homes to be delivered quickly.  The evidence clearly suggests that PPPs are not the best method to deliver the homes we need efficiently and with value for money for the taxpayer.

“I am urging Minister Murphy to reconsider the use of Public Private Partnership for social housing and to opt for Revenue Capital Funding or Housing Finance Agency loans instead.”

Note: Please the Sinn Féin submission attached

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