Cost of Dáil printer that was too big for room rises above €2m

Clerk of the Dáil says ‘honest mistakes’ were made but business case for purchase ‘is still sound’

The printer was too big for its designated room so remedial works had to take place. Photograph: RTÉ News

The printer was too big for its designated room so remedial works had to take place. Photograph: RTÉ News

 

The total cost of the controversial new Dáil printer which did not fit into its designated room will be more than €2 million, it has now emerged.

The clerk of the Dáil, Peter Finnegan, has submitted a new report to the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) outlining additional costs to those already outlined in previous correspondence.

The new figures show the cost is higher than the €1.6 million outlined by the Oireachtas a number of weeks ago.

In total, the print equipment will cost €1.36m, building costs to the Oireachtas amount to €314,453, storage of the printing press is costing €14,760, and outsourcing costs are €100,000. Combined with the cost incurred by OPW, works which came to €221,325, the total cost is just over €2m.

In the report, Mr Finnegan says that while there is “absolutely no denying that a series of mistakes were made during the project”, the “mistakes arose from human error.”

“They were honest mistakes and made by staff who were seeking to improve the printing services for members.”

Mr Finnegan said that having analysed the print production statistics and the financial cost of the Komori printing press he is “firmly of the opinion that the business case for purchasing it is still sound”.

He also noted that the Komori printing press is €246,000 cheaper than the previous Heidelberg printing presses purchased in 2004.

“As accounting officer for the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission I must ensure that resources are used properly and value for money is achieved. I take these responsibilities very seriously.”

He said that the union representing the staff of the printing facility have sought details in relation to both health and safety and workflow safety assessments prior to beginning training on the new equipment.

An OPW fire engineer will visit the print facility on Wednesday to assess the fire safety of the completed works.

“Receipt of a positive assessment will allow the Oireachtas Services Health and Safety consultant to complete his health and safety risk assessment for the facility.

“It is anticipated that the comprehensive training will take two-three weeks. After the training is completed, the supplier will be in a position to finalise the commissioning process for the new machine. Thereafter, the printing machine will be ready for production.”