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This is the model of printing press that's causing all the hassle for the Oireachtas

Structural works were needed at Leinster House to ensure the printer fit correctly in the building.

komori It wasn't possible to install the printing press when it was first delivered. Source: Komori

THE PROCUREMENT OF a massive printing press has caused controversy and sparked an investigation in Leinster House.

The Irish Times reported at the weekend that a printer costing just over €800,000 was ordered by the Houses of the Oireachtas in May 2018.

According to the tender specification originally issued by the Houses of the Oireachtas, the contract for the printer was awarded to Komori UK Ltd and it supplied what TheJournal.ie understands to be its GL-429 model. 

The specification of the product on the company website lists the model as being 7.3 metres long, 2.68m wide and 2.1m high.

However, it was too big to be installed at Kildare House, close to Leinster House, when it arrived in September 2018. Structural works which cost €236,000 were needed on the building in order for the printing press to fit into a room.

According to the tender specification, the printing press must be able to fit into a room of length 12m, width 5.8m and height 2.5m “with an acceptable work area around the press”.

The detailed requirements in the tender included that it must have a running speed of 16,000 sheets per hour and a colour management system. 

tender requirement

While the structural works on Kildare House were in progress, the printer was put into storage at Ballymount Industrial Estate in south Dublin, where it remained at a cost of €2,000 per month before being installed in September this year. 

The need for structural works to be conducted before the installation of the printer – and the procurement itself – is now under investigation after members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) voiced concerns. 

Issues still remain as it’s reported that staff still need to be trained on its use, the Irish Times reported.

komori 2 The printer originally cost the Exchequer just over €800,000. Source: Komori

It has this morning been confirmed that Dáil clerk, Peter Finnegan opened an investigation into the costs after members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) voiced concerns. 

“The Clerk of the Dail is preparing a report on the printer and associated matters for PAC,” an Oireachtas spokesperson said. 

Speaking to RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland programme, Sinn Féin TD and PAC member David Cullinane said: “Big printers cost money, so that wasn’t in itself a problem. The problem here is that mistakes were made in relation to the original contract. The printer was too big for the building.”

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Sean Murray

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