The National Children’s Hospital could be delayed further after external investigators were reportedly shut out from the site for six weeks.
The report highlights the latest rift between building contractor BAM and the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board.
The Irish Times reports that the contractors have refused to meet with board members and a company hired to review the progress of works on the site were also denied access.
Investigative analysis group Kroll was hired by the development board to survey the hospital site - but was denied access.
Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson David Cullinane TD told The Pat Kenny Show there is a “severe lack of trust” between the Board and the contracted builders.
Investigative analysis group Kroll was hired by the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board to survey the hospital site - but were reportedly excluded by lead contractor BAM.
“What needs to be established pretty quickly from the Minister for Health [Stephen Donnelly] what exactly is happening,” Deputy Cullinane said. “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
“It was quite obvious from the Oireachtas Health Committee meeting last week that there is what I would describe as open warfare.
“This doesn’t suit the taxpayer [and] this doesn’t suit the children who need this hospital built. It’s very unseemly.”
Deputy Cullinane said there has been “thousands of design changes” to the hospital since construction began.
“The Board are also quite critical of the main contractor not providing the resources they believe were committed to [the project] and were necessary to complete the project on time,” he said.
“There is always a risk of delays... but the number of delays, the number of targets come and gone, show the extent of the breakdown in relationships.”
Deputy Cullinane said the contractors needs to provide a compliance programme that works with the Board and decide on a final deadline “that works”.
“We need to get to a point where we have a realistic completition that complies and both the Board and the contractors are working towards to ensure the hospital is built as quickly as possible,” he said.
He also said the Department of Health should ensure no more taxpayers’ money is “handed over” until there is a compliance programme.
“When you have open warfare between the two main stakeholders delivering this project, then you need the Minister to step in,” he said.
“[The Minister should] make sure we can get a programme of work that is compliant and a realistic date the project can be delivered.
“If you don’t have a completion date, there is no accountability in relation to what needs to be done.”
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