Dáil Éireann - Volume 563 - 11 March, 2003
Written Answers - Consultancy Services.
Mr. Sherlock Mr. Sherlock
146. Mr. Sherlock asked the Minister for Transport his views on the current situation whereby engineering consultants' fees on major road projects are calculated on the basis of a percentage of the final cost of the project; and the steps he has taken to introduce a more cost effective system of payment. [7128/03]
Mr. Brennan Mr. Brennan
Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): Consultant engineering services required in connection with the planning, design and construction of national road projects are procured by the NRA through a competitive tendering process conducted in accordance with the Guidelines on Public  Procurement, Green Book 1994, and EU directives on public procurement. The fees payable are determined in line with these guidelines.
Under the arrangements used by the NRA for conventional contracts 70% of the fees are based on the accepted tender and not on the final project cost. The remaining 30% of fees, which relates to duties associated with the supervision of work, is based on the final cost of the project.
Standards of design and workmanship are established in the NRA design manual for roads and bridges and their specification for road works. NRA and local authority staff ensure that consultants adhere to these standards and that design and specification decisions reflect value for money.
Going forward the greater use of design and build lump sum contracts which transfer responsibility for the detailed design to the contractor, under NRA and local authority supervision, will reduce the level of fees payable by the NRA and local authorities.
Engineering consultant fees on national road projects account for approximately 2% to 4% on average of national road projects. Securing value for money for these services requires a good balance between a cost effective approach to fee determination and ensuring the highest quality of planning, design and supervision of major projects.
Dáil Éireann 563 Written Answers Consultancy Services.