The construction firm behind dozens of schools found to have structural defects is criticising the Education Minister, claiming a review of school construction models is too restrictive.
The Government is taking legal action against Western Building Systems (WBS) after inspections of completed schools around the country found structural and fire safety issues.
Today, the Education Minister has announced that a promised independent review - which will look at how schools are designed and built in other countries - will be carried out by Technological University Dublin.
According to the Department of Education, the review has been designed "to ensure that it does not prejudice the on-going legal process".
Minister Joe McHugh described it as an "important precursor in a planned wider independent review of the Department’s Design & Build Programme" - with the full review set to get underway once the ongoing legal effort is finished.
Western Building Systems, however, has called the newly-announced review restrictive as it does not examine the Department's own practices and procedures.
It has criticised Minister McHugh for choosing to proceed with a review which it claims is a "desktop exercise which should be standard practice for something as important as the school building programme."
The company argued: “This in effect is an acknowledgment from the Minister for the first time that there is a systemic flaw in the schools building programme.
"However he has failed to undertake the review he promised and the reasons given for not doing so are questionable."
It adds: “Why does the Minister continue to resist a full, independent review?
"If there is categoric legal advice which shows it can’t be undertaken at this time, it should be published. If not, it leaves a question mark over the existing verification process at a time when schools continue to be built."
WBS also suggested a full independent review is needed if "shortcomings" in the procurement and regulation of public infrastructure projects are to be addressed.
In total, issues have been identified at around 40 schools built by WBS on behalf of the Department of Education.
Last month it emerged 17 schools would undergo emergency works to make them safe for staff and students ahead of the new school year.