Minister Donohoe launches review of procurement policy for public works projects

21st March, 2019

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D. has today (Thursday) launched a review of procurement policy for public works projects at a meeting of the Construction Sector Group.

The review will deliver significant changes to the Capital Works Management Framework (CWMF) over the coming years. The review process will involve extensive engagement both with industry stakeholders and with the public bodies charged with the delivery of public works projects on a broad range of issues and will extend over the next 12 – 18 months.

The CWMF represents the tools that a public body must use to procure and manage the external resources necessary to deliver public works projects that are delivered under the Exchequer-funded element of the National Development Plan.

Preliminary engagement and scoping has already been undertaken and, following further consultation, a range of position papers will be prepared throughout 2019 and 2020 on issues that are impacting on project delivery.  These papers will be published to facilitate wider engagement with all those working on the delivery of public works projects.

Enhanced risk management throughout a project’s lifecycle and quality of information will inform all aspects of the work programme.  Opportunities to further deploy digital technologies, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), will also be explored with the aim of improving workflows and information management for public bodies, contractors and consultants.

Commenting on the launch, Minister Donohoe said: ‘Construction projects form a major part of Project Ireland 2040; our ambitious plan to drive Ireland’s long term economic, environmental and social progress. This new and improved approach to the manner in which we procure construction contracts will support the delivery of Project Ireland 2040 by ensuring maximum value for money while sustaining a modern, innovative, and resilient construction sector’.

“The initiative is being led by the Office of Government Procurement, in conjunction with the Government Contracts Committee for Construction, and is a key recommendation arising out of the performance review of the public works contracts.  The scope is broader on this occasion and will look at the manner in which both construction consultancy services and building contractors are procured and the contract conditions under which they are engaged.”


Notes for Editors

Construction Sector Group

The Construction Sector Group ensures regular and open dialogue between Government and industry on how best to achieve and maintain a sustainable and innovative construction sector positioned to successfully deliver on the commitments in Project Ireland 2040. It is made up of representatives of key industry bodies including the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland (ACEI), the Building Materials Federation (BMF), the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), Engineers Ireland (EI), the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), the Irish Planning Institute, (IPI), the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), as well as senior representatives of relevant Government Departments and agencies with responsibilities for policy and for the delivery of infrastructure. Itis chaired by the Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The Group reports to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

Government Contracts Committee for Construction (GCCC)

The GCCC is a forum to discuss public sector construction related issues and to provide expert advice and technical input into the development of public sector national construction procurement policy.  The OGP provides the functions of Chair and Secretariat to the GCCC.  The membership of the GCCC includes representatives from the main capital spending bodies and departments with a significant involvement in public sector construction related activities.  In order to draw on the considerable experience in procurement within the public sector, the Committee also includes bodies from outside the central government sector.

Capital Works Management Framework (CWMF)

The CWMF is a structure that has been developed to deliver the Government’s objectives in relation to public sector construction procurement reform. It consists of a suite of best practice guidance, standard contracts and generic template documents.  All the documents that make up the framework are available online at

Objectives Governing the Review

A high level strategy has been developed with the GCCC that will guide the implementation which will be addressed primarily through the progressive refinement and enhancement of the CWMF.  The following objectives summarise the strategy:

The CWMF will enable the delivery of sustainable assets under the NDP by:

  • Developing procurement and contracting strategies that prioritise quality solutions and support the most efficient means of delivery; 
  • Embedding appropriate risk management measures within the project development, procurement and construction stages;
  • Deploying digital solutions throughout the project delivery stages.

Report on the Review of the Public Works Contracts 2014

Link to report:

Office of Government Procurement

The Office of Government Procurement (OGP), together with four key sectors (Health, Local Government, Education and Defence), has responsibility for sourcing goods and services on behalf of the public service. The OGP also has responsibility for procurement systems such as the national procurement platform, eTenders, as well as procurement policy and procedures, including construction procurement policy.