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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



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An Appraisal Tony Cunningham Dublin Institute of Technology

School of Real Estate and Construction Economics, Nov. 2012.


Securing value for money is a key objective of public sector clients undertaking construction projects and has underpinned recent initiatives to improve performance within the sector. The Capital Works Management Framework launched by Department of Finance aims to establish an ‘integrated methodology and a consistent approach to the planning, management and delivery of public capital works projects with the objectives of greater cost certainty, better value for money and more efficient project delivery.’ (National Public Procurement Policy Unit, 2007) This study focuses on value for money and appraises the effectiveness of the Public Works Contract for Building Works Designed by the Employer to achieve this objective.

The argument indicates that the Public Works Contract contains numerous measures which support the achievement of the Department of Finance’s aims. The counterview that it lacks balance in its risk allocation approach, is overly bureaucratic and expensive to administer, and has done nothing to protect, reform or improve the Industry at a time of unprecedented difficulties are certainly strong and valid criticisms of the Contract. On balance, however, this study deduces that the Contract improves the achievement of cost and time certainty and thereby promotes effective project delivery and, provided sufficient thought is given to risk allocation, goes some way to achieving better value for money.