#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 7°C Friday 15 January 2021
Advertisement

Complaints made over pay and conditions on 22 school building projects

There were 28 complaints received and five projects were referred to the Revenue Commissioners.

Image: Classroom via Shutterstock

COMPLAINTS WERE MADE over issues people had with 22 school/college building projects around Ireland in the past year.

In one case, non-compliance was found with record keeping and shortfalls in payments due to workers.

Five projects were referred to the Revenue Commissioners.

The details of the work undertaken to ensure that all major school building projects comply with the pay and conditions clauses in the the Public Works Contract were outlined today by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD.

In April of last year, Quinn’s department appointed Contractors Administration Services (CAS) to conduct audits on school/college building projects to verify they were complying with pay and condition clauses.

People were able to make complaints online using an online system if they thought that non-compliance with the pay and conditions were an issue with some projects.

Complaints

By the end of 2013, a total of 28 complaints were received relating to 22 school/college building projects. All but four of these were received through the online system.

Of the 28 complaints received:

  • 19 have been referred to CAS for review (14 construction sites)
  • Six complaints – no action taken as projects are not being funded by Department or the projects are nearing completion
  • Two projects being referred to CAS for review
  • One complaint referred directly to NERA as they are proposing to carry out a review

CAS has completed 13 audits on school/college construction sites, with a further audit on-going.

Five projects have been referred to the Revenue Commissioners, one to the Department of Social Protection and one to NERA as a result.

In one audit CAS found non-compliance with record keeping and shortfalls in payments due to workers. This shortfall was brought to the attention of the contractor and back monies were paid to the workers. These payments were verified by CAS.

Minister Quinn said that there is €2 billion being spent on a five-year school buildings programme, with a further €125 million being spent on higher education infrastructure.

While I know that the vast majority of contractors are totally compliant I want to ensure that all workers on Department of Education & Skills building projects are being paid what they are due.

He is planning to identify a project this year which would involve CAS undertaking a monitoring service throughout the construction period of the project.

The online complaint form can be found at this link.

Read: Twenty ‘irreplaceable’ laptops stolen in primary school break in>

Read: 39 convictions for parents so far over children missing school last year>

Read next:

COMMENTS (4)