Monster ink: €800k printer too big to fit in Leinster House

Oireachtas staff are refusing to be trained on how to use it until they are given pay rise

The large Komori printer, which could not be installed for 10 months, has now been put in place, but some Oireachtas staff are refusing to be trained on how to operate it until they are given a pay rise. File photograph: iStock

The large Komori printer, which could not be installed for 10 months, has now been put in place, but some Oireachtas staff are refusing to be trained on how to operate it until they are given a pay rise. File photograph: iStock

 

The Houses of the Oireachtas paid €808,000 for a state-of-the-art printer and then had to pay more than €230,000 on works to get it into a building because the original measurements taken were wrong.

Now, the Komori printer, which could not be installed for 10 months, has been put in place, but a number of Oireachtas staff are refusing to be trained on how to operate it until they are given a pay rise.

Documents obtained by The Irish Times under the Freedom of Information Act show that the original measurements taken failed to ensure that the printer had the 3.1m height clearance needed.

Because of the problems, the printer was stored for free by Komori’s Irish agents, Portman Graphics in Ballymount Industrial Estate in Dublin; but later, storage fees of €2,000 a month were charged.

Contract

The printer was delivered on December 5th, 2018. In a note written a week later, the Oireachtas head of communications, Derek Dignam, told secretary-general Peter Finnegan that the printer could not be returned because the contract had been signed.

“As the press has now been contracted for, the supplier is entitled to payment irrespective of difficulties now being experienced in respect of the required structural works. To manage this unforeseen scenario we have agreed that the press will be stored in the agent’s premises until the work have been completed,” Mr Dignam wrote.

Following the agreement in May 2018 with Komori, the Houses of the Oireachtas believes that “minor work”, such as the temporary removal of door-frames in Kildare House, would be enough to allow for the printer to be installed.

However, the Office of Public Works began to issue warnings from August that year ahead of its arrival, saying installation would “require a much more substantial project than we have under way on site”.