Scandal of New Children's Hospital Spending overrun - will Harris resign? Of course not

D

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How do you do a cost benefit analysis of a children's hospital? Would you try and estimate mortality rates between building or not building? They do this kind of analysis when deciding whether to fund expensive drugs and it causes no end of grief for patients. The idea that you can estimate the cost of a new hospital on a cost/square metre is daft. It may be reasonable for a budget estimate but a budget estimate needs a large +/- 30% uncertainty attached. Note that the uncertainty in an estimate is not the same as a project contingency.
You assess the extra construction costs associated with the choice of site versus the expected longer term cost benefits of the choice of site.
 


SPN

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Let's not forget that Wallace's ideas of efficiency include dodging VAT and employee pension contributions, before we start lionising him.
You are becoming increasingly tedious HBAP.

Instead of addressing the issue you decide to attack Wallace.

Wallace was wrong to use VAT money to ease cashflow problems whenever the banks stopped lending. It is a strategy that is widely used, rightly or wrongly, and doesn't normally cause a problem if the cashflow problems are temporary.. But in this case the problem wasn't temporary and it took ten years for the banks to get back into positive nett new lending. Nobody could have predicted that.

Wallace was also correct, to my mind, to withhold employer contributions to the Trades Union Pension Fund whenever the numbers being claimed by the Trades Unions were disputed. He paid the contributions every other year, before and after, whenever the contributions were not disputed. If someone turns up at your door demanding money that you don't believe you owe, do you pay it or go to arbitration? Wallace went to arbitration.


Now, let's get back to the substance.

FG allowed the Permanent Government to hang them out to dry, because the Permanent Government didn't have a clue what they were doing (as the PwC report makes clear).

You may not like Wallace, but when it comes to Construction, he has more experience than the entire FG Front Bench, and the entire Civil Service.

What Wallace says is in line with what PwC says.

The Government is saying nothing.

And you decide to attack Wallace.

What are you like?
 

SPN

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Wallace is a bankrupt commercial developer, he may know more about office building than other TDs but he is not an expert on managing large complex projects.
Wallace ran a construction company, as well as being a developer. He would have run lots of very large projects, and would have been at the heart of many more.

Being a bankrupt developer in the aftermath of the banks stopping lending is hardly a black mark. The banks never told the developers that they would not be lending to their customers once the projects were built, even though that was a core assumption of them lending to do the build in the first place.


The new project head, Fred Barry has a background in managing pharma and Intel projects and successfully changed the NRA so that their projects came in under budget.
Agreed. The key to that was getting the budget right in the first place.

The problem with the Childrens Hospital is that the budget wasn't done properly in the beginning.



My opinion is that the model for building a hospital has more in common with an industrial project than a commercial office or shopping mall.
Maybe, maybe not. But it is not the issue here. Wallace is looking at the terms of the contract, which he is well qualified to do, and he is pointing out the obvious flaws.

Fred Barry's experience is no barrier to BAM making the contract work in their favour, now that it has been signed by his clueless predecessors.
 

SPN

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It's not "without helicopter access", and you know that full well. If you actually want people to discuss this with you, it'll help if you get your facts right.
I'd like you to answer the question too.

Where will the helicopters land?
 

brughahaha

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Where will helicopters land?
Right beside the maternity hospital , which isn't even planned yet ...yep the 1.7 billion doesnt even include a maternity hospital ...not even any plans for it yet , and it appears there is no room in James for it .......which is quite bizarre given trilocation was one of the major reasons given for choosing the james site

 

wombat

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Wallace ran a construction company, as well as being a developer. He would have run lots of very large projects, and would have been at the heart of many more.
Wallace knows more about construction than most TDs although there is one of the western independents who also ran a contracting company. BTW, not using VAT money for working capital is one of the first warnings an accountant gives anyone starting a company. My criticism of what he said regarding fixed price contracts is based on experience of private sector contracts for plants a lot more complex than the children's hospital.
 

wombat

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Right beside the maternity hospital , which isn't even planned yet ...yep the 1.7 billion doesnt even include a maternity hospital ...not even any plans for it yet , and it appears there is no room in James for it .......which is quite bizarre given trilocation was one of the major reasons given for choosing the james site

Curious as to why a maternity hospital is needed now when they are building a new one on the Vincents' site?
 

brughahaha

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Curious as to why a maternity hospital is needed now when they are building a new one on the Vincents' site?
Hmmmmmmmm............. whose side to take, who to believe , conservative P.ie poster determined to rebuff accusations of FG incompetence ...or the former Master of the Coombe


And what do you mean "now" .Trii-location with a maternity and adult hospital was ALWAYS part of the proposal
 

wombat

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Hmmmmmmmm............. whose side to take, who to believe , conservative P.ie poster determined to rebuff accusations of FG incompetence ...or the former Master of the Coombe
And what do you mean "now" .Trii-location with a maternity and adult hospital was ALWAYS part of the proposal
Believe who you like, I simply asked, on the basis that the new children's hospital is already over budget, why people think its a good idea to start building a maternity hospital on the same site when the Vincents/Holles st. hospital hasn't started. The reason I am a conservative poster is because I know who pays for all state spending and I think my taxes are already too high.
 

brughahaha

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Believe who you like, I simply asked, on the basis that the new children's hospital is already over budget, why people think its a good idea to start building a maternity hospital on the same site when the Vincents/Holles st. hospital hasn't started. The reason I am a conservative poster is because I know who pays for all state spending and I think my taxes are already too high.
Yet will continue to vote for parties with 100 years of proven profligate waste behind them ...zzzzzzzzz
 

wombat

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Yet will continue to vote for parties with 100 years of proven profligate waste behind them ...zzzzzzzzz
Separate issue, I usually vote for whoever best represents my interests.
 

jmcc

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Wallace is a bankrupt commercial developer, he may know more about office building than other TDs but he is not an expert on managing large complex projects. The new project head, Fred Barry has a background in managing pharma and Intel projects and successfully changed the NRA so that their projects came in under budget. My opinion is that the model for building a hospital has more in common with an industrial project than a commercial office or shopping mall.
Wallace has expertise in running large construction projects and Fred Barry does not? But you are arguing that not having experience of large construction projects is an advantage? It would be better to have someone like Wallace, who knows the business, in charge than some pig-ignorant gombeen FG politician (the intellectual giants Harris and his predecessors) or civil servants who could not be fired.
 
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SPN

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As a failed developer,he has the vindictiveness of a defrocked priest towards successful developers in his former business circles.
There is no "vindictiveness" you twit.

He is pointing out a blatant error in the contracts that is going to cost the taxpayer a lot of money.

I always thought you were on the side of the tax payer.

What has changed.


Meanwhile, it looks like the Civil Servants have made a really major fcvk up.


They have destroyed the records of the tender process before the period had elapsed for the other tenderers to take court action.

In essence, they have no way of proving that the tender process was run fairly.

The taxpayer will be on the hook for this too.
 

SPN

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BTW, not using VAT money for working capital is one of the first warnings an accountant gives anyone starting a company.
Not in my experience, although it is basic common sense.

But when you have wages to be paid and there is a cheque in the post, it does make sense to take the risk.



My criticism of what he said regarding fixed price contracts is based on experience of private sector contracts for plants a lot more complex than the children's hospital.
His point is that the type of fixed price contract used in this case was inappropriate for the project (which PWC have also concluded), and that he can see lots of opportunities for more gouging by the contractor.

Do you disagree with this analysis?
 

pedagogus

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Believe who you like, I simply asked, on the basis that the new children's hospital is already over budget, why people think its a good idea to start building a maternity hospital on the same site when the Vincents/Holles st. hospital hasn't started. The reason I am a conservative poster is because I know who pays for all state spending and I think my taxes are already too high.
The point is, that of the two other hospitals the most important is the maternity hospital rather than the adult hospital. I'd have thought it was beyond obvious that extremely sick new-borns should be on the same site as the children's hospital where they could be wheeled down a connecting corridor rather than bumped in and out of ambulances.
 

wombat

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Wallace has expertise in running large construction projects and Fred Barry does not?
My argument is the exact opposite, commercial property development uses a completely different model to private industrial construction so I think Barry's experience is more useful than Wallace's.
 

wombat

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The point is, that of the two other hospitals the most important is the maternity hospital rather than the adult hospital. I'd have thought it was beyond obvious that extremely sick new-borns should be on the same site as the children's hospital where they could be wheeled down a connecting corridor rather than bumped in and out of ambulances.
So why is Holles street going ahead before a new maternity hospital at James? I suspect there is a lot of medical politics involved in these decisions but its interesting that no politicians are advocating prioritising a maternity hospital at James over Holles street, its not so long since they were howling about giving the nuns the new Holles street.
 

SPN

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My argument is the exact opposite, commercial property development uses a completely different model to private industrial construction so I think Barry's experience is more useful than Wallace's.
It's not about experience of one type of construction over another.

It is about the ability to read a contract and understand what it means.

PwC agree with Wallace.

Barry hasn't commented thus far to the best of my knowledge, nor will he. He has to live with the contract he has inherited.
 


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