National Children’s Hospital will be one of the most expensive buildings ever built

AyaanMyHero

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I think it could be much bigger than that. This is so serious I really think we need an Inquiry. People might groan at that and point to a cost for an Inquiry biut I think there is a clear public interest issue at stake here.

If public projects are going to race billions beyond the tender prices this is a major hit on public finances and the Health sector budget. The vague notions of an explanation thus far are nowhere near good enough and are way beyond plausible now.
Lumpy, you have no doubt heard of projects being tendered and priced before project requirements are clearly defined. It is very bad practice but it happens. There was gross incompetence and disregard for best practices and probably disregard for state procurement processes.

This is what I hear was the problem (at a first level of diagnosis) and it is not disputed by the government. Do you not believe that ? Do you suspect corruption at the root or gross negligence ?

You seek an enquiry. An enquiry is possibly needed alright. For me, it’s purpose would be the fully root cause the event and see if there is a way to ensure the underlying weakness (whatever it is) is removed. Would you expect more from it ?
 


MVOR

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Lumpy, you have no doubt heard of projects being tendered and priced before project requirements are clearly defined. It is very bad practice but it happens. There was gross incompetence and disregard for best practices and probably disregard for state procurement processes.

This is what I hear was the problem (at a first level of diagnosis) and it is not disputed by the government. Do you not believe that ? Do you suspect corruption at the root or gross negligence ?

You seek an enquiry. An enquiry is possibly needed alright. For me, it’s purpose would be the fully root cause the event and see if there is a way to ensure the underlying weakness (whatever it is) is removed. Would you expect more from it ?
Incompetence would certainly add to the costs of a project. In this case however we have several factors that would indicate corruption is almost certainly a factor and needs to be investigated:
The overspend is on an unimaginable scale. Incompetence may double a budget but to quadruple it and we’re still not sure how much higher it will go?
There is a history of corruption in relation to certain parties who were involved in this project.
Certain decisions, for example the location, were illogical and served some purpose that was not in the interest of the project or the end users.
 

AyaanMyHero

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Incompetence would certainly add to the costs of a project. In this case however we have several factors that would indicate corruption is almost certainly a factor and needs to be investigated:
The overspend is on an unimaginable scale. Incompetence may double a budget but to quadruple it and we’re still not sure how much higher it will go?
There is a history of corruption in relation to certain parties who were involved in this project.
Certain decisions, for example the location, were illogical and served some purpose that was not in the interest of the project or the end users.
Well an enquiry would root out any such corruption but I would not assume that any would be found.

I have been close to several projects that more than quadrupled in price and incompetence was at the root of it. Specifically, the incompetence stemmed from the agreement of a price based on a vague specification. Most knew it was wrong to do it but there were factors outside the project that led to it happening all the same. These factors were not due to corruption but to company politics: a powerful high up person with no accountability for the overrun. Not quite corruption but bad business management certainly.
 

Uganda

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Lumpy, you have no doubt heard of projects being tendered and priced before project requirements are clearly defined. It is very bad practice but it happens. There was gross incompetence and disregard for best practices and probably disregard for state procurement processes.

This is what I hear was the problem (at a first level of diagnosis) and it is not disputed by the government. Do you not believe that ? Do you suspect corruption at the root or gross negligence ?

You seek an enquiry. An enquiry is possibly needed alright. For me, it’s purpose would be the fully root cause the event and see if there is a way to ensure the underlying weakness (whatever it is) is removed. Would you expect more from it ?
an enquiry will result, after mega costs, in a conclusion which will either say “systems failure” or “human failure “ (but no human will ever be identified).
 

AyaanMyHero

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an enquiry will result, after mega costs, in a conclusion which will either say “systems failure” or “human failure “ (but no human will ever be identified).
Tend to agree. Accountability is the problem. There is none that I can see in the civil service. I would love to be proved wrong however,
 

Uganda

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Tend to agree. Accountability is the problem. There is none that I can see in the civil service. I would love to be proved wrong however,
you won’t be proved wrong.

one of the problems with the splintered dail is that the civil servants love it - divide & conquer.
 

Rural

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Civil Servants are a political party with a united agenda now? Who knew! :rolleyes:
 

Uganda

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Civil Servants are a political party with a united agenda now? Who knew! :rolleyes:
Civil servants will look after one group - civil servants.

it takes a very strong politician to enforce his/her will.

we have had very few of this strength.

des O’Malley was one, Albert Reynolds another, possibly John Kelly, and Michael mcdowell.
 

Rural

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Jaysus, you have to read some shyte on this site sometimes. :rolleyes:

Civil Servants have been pitted against each other. The new recruits now on a very different contract and starting wage than the older ones. Nurses and Emergency Service workers working in much worse conditions and hours than teachers or social workers.

There is no schemed unity within the Civil Service to oust their (so called) betters in Leinster House, most of them are just trying to pay the rent.
 

Uganda

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Jaysus, you have to read some shyte on this site sometimes. :rolleyes:

Civil Servants have been pitted against each other. The new recruits now on a very different contract and starting wage than the older ones. Nurses and Emergency Service workers working in much worse conditions and hours than teachers or social workers.

There is no schemed unity within the Civil Service to oust their (so called) betters in Leinster House, most of them are just trying to pay the rent.
2 points

1. it would be very hard for most people to work less hours than teachers.

2. the civil servants are very adept at looking after themselves. Two examples - in the current debate where people can’t access the oap until they are 67/68, isn’t it interesting that this stricture doesn’t apply to civil servants.

another little gem is the measure brought in by the greens when in government to put a levy on employer provided car parking spaces in urban areas. The law was passed but was never commenced. I wonder why?
 

Rural

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Anyway.

Civil Servants are not a political party with a united agenda, just people who got a job in the Civil Service, sometimes just because of who their family voted for, which is mostly either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail.

EDIT - Here's a thing I've noticed in the past week or so, when Fine Gael shills get nervous they also get nasty and divisive themselves. It's Public v private service at the moment.

What's next lads? Urban v rural? Man v woman? Young v old?
 
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Uganda

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Anyway.

Civil Servants are not a political party with a united agenda, just people who got a job in the Civil Service, sometimes just because of who their family voted for, which is mostly either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail.
to be fair to them, while their people may have voted for fg or ff (most people did) it isn’t reasonable to infer that it was becuse their people voted that way.

now, RTÉ is a different kettle of fish. I don’t know how anybody gets a job in RTÉ without having a family member there first.
 

Dame_Enda

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Price Waterhouse Cooper's to be paid €450,000 to investigate cost over-runs for the NCH,
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
Has anyone deigned to publish this almost half a million euro report or is it under consideration by ministers in the deepest dungeon available?
 

MVOR

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Has anyone deigned to publish this almost half a million euro report or is it under consideration by ministers in the deepest dungeon available?
For Christ’s sake it’s election time. Leo has that buried deep somewhere never to be seen again. Imagine if a report actually got published
 

Ardillaun

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Something has gone horribly wrong on the assessment of cost side, more probably multiple things, but I would go with a combination of simple incompetence and policy inertia first until I see evidence of anything more malign. There are probably people out there in internetland who have been involved in such projects and can spot a few glaring errors made in the process.

Megaprojects usually have cost and time overruns:


But we probably agree the NCH had to be done? Other criteria for assessing success have been suggested:


Although they are mainly retrospective. Here are a few suggestions for bucking the cost overrun trend:


In the end, all I can do is wish you good luck. You’ll gradually forget about the horrendous cost if the place functions well.
 
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Patslatt1

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A basic rule of project management is to get the scope of a project defined before a design or cost estimate is produced. Its quite common on large projects to go for tender to produce a scope definition and preliminary estimate to see if the project is worth doing. Its hard to argue that a new children's hospital is not needed, the problem is in "project creep" where nobody said "No" when bells and whistles were being added. My only point is that you cannot compare construction costs of foreign hospitals with overall costs of the total Irish project.
Project creep likely occured with the tacit permission of the board in charge, the HSE and Department of Health. If so, all three should be roundly condemned for recklessness with public spending. A belated attempt to reverse gold plated creep features was announced about a year ago but changing specs in big construction projects in progress usually proves complicated and fails.
 


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