Dáil Éireann - Volume 664 - 16 October, 2008

Written Answers. - Departmental Correspondence.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn asked the Minister for Education and Science the recent contacts he has had with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland or official representatives thereof; the issues or topics he has discussed with the RIAI, including his recently expressed concerns regarding the high level of architectural fees for school buildings; the outcomes reached during communication with the RIAI; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35199/08]

  Deputy Batt O’Keeffe: I recently received a letter from the President of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland on the issue of architectural fees for school buildings. I have issued a reply to this letter.

In my reply, I noted the need to ensure better value for money in the procurement and construction of schools. At all times, but in particular in the current economic circumstances, value for money in the delivery of the Capital Programme is essential to ensure that the [197] maximum benefit accrues to the greatest number of schools, their pupils, their teachers and the parents.

I also referred to the new competitive process for the procurement of Design Consultants and pointed out that my Department has pioneered the appointment of Design consultants on a competitive basis with fee bidding for Consultants for my Department’s Generic Repeat Design schools introduced in early 2004.

My reply also notes that my Department operates in accordance with the relevant national regulations, EU Directives and the Technical Guidance Documents published by the Department in relation to the procurement of consultants for construction projects.

I look forward to working with the RIAI and other partners in the construction industry to ensure that value for money is achieved for the taxpayer in the implementation of the school building programme.