Wednesday, March 31, 2010

NAMA - Good Indo Article

This article in today's Irish Independent synopsises the 'major' players and properties involved in a simple and clear format.


My guess on the 'haircut' wasn't too far away:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Are the Public Servants Holding Constructors to Ramsom in Eire?

Greetings colleagues. I haven't published for a while but I make no apologies for this.

Chasing work has kept me busy. Similar to many people in Ireland in our Industry I've a house to pay for and a family to keep. Work is very very scarce indeed.

As a matter of fact for the first time in 12 years as a permanent employee for a long established Civil Engineering Contractor I now fear for my job security and I'm even gearing myself up to get plan 'B' into operation which will most likely involve freelance work.

Freelance work would not pose any fear for me as during the boom years I managed to squeeze in a Post Graduate Contract Law Course and a Post Graduate Arbitration Course. However having a steady job and job security was very comforting and regardless of the Public Sector pay cuts and their pension levies they still have the comfort and security of knowing that they have a job to go to every Monday morning.emm(?)

The current situation in the Civil Engineering market is diabolical to say the least. Sources tell me that some Public Sector Area's are failing to release Contract Documents where funding is in place. If this is true then it is an almighty scandal as the chain affects of not issuing necessary infrastructure work is catastrophic as this will only lead to further job losses in the industry.

I do know for a fact that my company has completed pre-qual after pre-qual in the period May 2009 until mid-February 2010 and for the large majority of these pre-qual competitions not even the pre-qual result was published.

This is crippling small and medium Civil Contractors around the Country and in the long term only add to the Public Spending Bill by virtue of the fact that another 40,000 construction personnel are expected to be unemployed for 2010.

If the government start acting now and the Public Servants are made to start releasing tenders immediately then some of these jobs would be saved and important infrastructure works would commence.

Some such project examples are as follows:
Lough Forbes Water Treatment Works - First advertised in May 2009
The Metals Dun Laoighaire - First advertised in May 2009
Grange Bridge in Kilkenny - First advertised in May 2009
Ballymahon and Granard Water Treatment - June 2009
River Fergus Flood Alleviation - September 2009
Belcamp Lands Remediation - January 2010
Embankment Road Extension Tallaght - February 2010

All of the above are 2 stage select tenders (pre-qualification competition first) yet all but one of these projects has yet to reach the second stage; the pricing stage. Why is this?

In the meantime the other projects that were advertised in the back end of 2009 and so far this year have been few and far between, so one wonders where the so call 'Capital Spend' promised in the last budget is going?

My guess is that the government are holding off until the NAMA transfers have commenced properly or else perhaps some Public Sectors are acting in a similar fashion to our friends in the Passport office. Maybe funds are in place for Contracts but the Public Servants are on some sort of work to rule and not bothering to issue the tender documents?

I noticed in the Sunday Business post at the weekend that the Department of Finance are reviewing the PPP model and now deem it bad value for money.

This blogger and many more amongst us and even people with a level Pass C leaving certificate maths would realise this. The Government pumping the circa € 110,000,000 subvention into the Kilkock - Kinegad bypass motorway PPP back in the day was a complete disgrace.

This amount of cash, at the time, would have built 15 to 20 km of motorway on its own without having the necessity for a toll.

Anyhow, as soon as this Blogger hears more on the DOF review I will post some thoughts and comments. However, it would appear to be a more than likely a Fianna Fail PR move in order to ditch the Metro for a few years without upsetting the Greens too much.

You know what ... all of the above reminds me of something familiar.......................