The board of the National Children’s Hospital is expected to reveal that the project, which has been dogged by delays and overruns, is now further behind schedule when they appear before the Oireachtas Health Committee this morning.
David Gunning, the chief officer of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) is expected to tell the Committee, that BAM, the main contractor has been “underperforming as regards project execution and has been extremely assertive as regards claims”.
“Since the commencement of this project there have been hundreds of claims for hundreds of millions of euro and the sheer volume and nature of claims on this project is consuming a significant amount of executive and project team time,” he will say.
It is expected that Mr Gunning will tell the Committee that while the project was behind by four months in November of last year, the delay had increased to six months by the time the site was closed in March as a result of Covid-19.
Mr Gunning will also outline to the Committee the measures which the board have taken against BAM, including withholding 15% of monies invoiced every month as they claim that “despite ongoing engagement with the main contractor, we are still without a valid works programme that is in line with its contractual obligations and we are addressing these issues via the mechanisms allowed to us within the contract.”
Phelim Devine, project director of the NPHDB will tell the Committee progress has been made at a slower pace than projected but the excavation piling and the structural frame to the underground basement for campus wide facilities management, energy centre, and the 1,000-space underground car park are complete.
“By the end of 2020 the building will be topped out to level 4 across the majority of the site,” he is expected to say.