Minister Donohoe chairs Board which will oversee the delivery of vital public projects

2nd May, 2023

The Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan (NDP) Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, today (02 May 2023) chaired the inaugural meeting of the reconstituted Project Ireland 2040 Delivery Board. By doing so, the Minister is now taking a direct role in overseeing delivery of the NDP. The Board will meet on a quarterly basis.

The Government’s €165 billion investment through the National Development Plan is already providing vital infrastructure across the country including homes, schools, and primary healthcare centres. But more needs to be done to boost delivery particularly in areas like housing, health and climate. The recent renaming and reconstitution of the Minister’s Department, to specifically include NDP Delivery, has brought about a greater emphasis and mandate for the delivery of the NDP. 

In light of this new role, a review of the support structures and levers available across Government to maximise delivery of projects was undertaken, as well as engagement with stakeholders and Government colleagues. As a result, a series of actions and reforms were identified as priorities to improve delivery of NDP projects and programmes. The Minister secured government approval for that package of measures on 29 March. The initiative announced today is part of that suite of significant actions aimed at enhancing project delivery in the NDP. Those other actions being advanced to support delivery include:

  • Significant changes to reduce the administrative burden in delivering major capital projects;
  • Capacity reviews of departments and agencies with significant delivery programmes to be carried out, where appropriate, to ensure that adequate resources for project delivery are in place;
  • Additional reforms to the Capital Works Management Framework, which sets out the contracts used for public capital projects;
  • Direct reporting to Government on NDP delivery on a quarterly basis throughout 2023 and 2024 will now also take place and
  • In addition, an independent evaluation of NDP priorities and capacity will be conducted over the coming months. 

The new Delivery Board will focus on major project (€200m+) delivery targets. The terms of reference for the Board were agreed at today’s meeting. Sectoral Secretaries General will be invited to appear before the group to highlight efforts to increase delivery. In addition, there will be increased focus on fixing the planning challenges, boosting the skills offering in the construction sector and boosting construction sector productivity. The membership of the new Board comprises Minister Paschal Donohoe (Chair); Secretary General, Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform; Secretary General, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage; Secretary General, Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science; along with five external members of the Board. 

Commenting on the first meeting of the new Board, Minister Donohoe said: 

“I am delighted to chair this group and I am eager to hear the views of the esteemed membership of the group, particularly in recommending reforms to boost NDP delivery in the coming year to 18 months. I have taken the step of personally chairing the Delivery Board to drive project delivery for the NDP over its lifetime. 

“I am confident that the combination of all the actions I have recently brought forward to boost delivery will lead to improved outcomes for citizens. Delivering the NDP will have a transformative impact on realising our social, economic and climate ambitions for the people of this country. I look forward to working with all the Board members over the coming months to make those ambitions a reality.”


Project Ireland 2040 Delivery Board


The Project Ireland 2040 Delivery Board is a non-statutory board to:

  • Provide strategic direction and leadership to the National Development Plan (NDP) and National Planning Framework (NPF) implementation process, including communication of Project Ireland 2040.
  • Monitor and oversee implementation structures and performance in each sector to ensure a co-ordinated and collaborative approach to NDP and NPF delivery across government.
  • Oversee progress and performance across all sectors, particularly in relation to major projects and programmes (+€200m).
  • Identify system wide responses to resolve any significant cross-cutting issues arising from NDP and NPF implementation.
  • Oversee the impact of planning reforms on major project delivery and oversee mitigations for skills shortages and opportunities for upskilling/reskilling.
  • Monitor the work of the Construction Sector Group Innovation and Digital Adoption Subgroup, which sets out to boost productivity in the sector.
  • Recommend options for the reallocation of funding resources within the NDP capital envelope if/where appropriate, for example, to compensate for delays arising or rescheduling of funding requirements on some major projects, with a view to optimising overall delivery of NPF objectives.

The over-riding purpose of this system is to ensure visibility in relation to NDP progress in line with National Planning Framework principles, in order to optimise the use of the NDP funding to deliver on the NPF objectives. The Board will complement, and not displace, existing responsibilities for efficient resource management or accountability for financial management.

The Board will meet every quarter, and may form sub-groups drawn from Departments and Agencies, if necessary/appropriate.


The Delivery Board will be chaired by the Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform.

The Delivery Board will have the following membership:-

Secretaries General or equivalent of the following Government Departments:


External Members (current):

  • Ms Mary Hughes – a Chartered Town Planner with in excess of 25 years’ experience. 
  • Mr PJ Rudden – Chair of Construction Sector Group (CSG) Innovation and Digital Adoption and a past President of Engineers Ireland. 
  • Mr Sean O’Driscoll – Chairman of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and former Chairman and Chief Executive of the Glen Dimplex Group, and a former Partner in KPMG. 
  • Ms Terry Prendergast – a professional planner, member of the Irish Planning Institute and a former Board Member with An Bord Pleanála. 
  • Mr Thomas Barrett – Currently senior non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, formerly senior official at the European Investment Bank.

Individual Departments will be required to present on key sectoral project and programme delivery, and to set out firm timelines for delivery, with Secretaries General and Heads of Agencies to be invited to report on major projects as required.



The Delivery Board will report to Government through a quarterly Memo for Government from MPENDR.