The government has adopted a slimmed-down new policy on architecture – with the number of proposed actions reduced from more than 60 to 45 – in deference to concerns in the Department of Finance that the policy would cost too much. The draft policy, drawn up by a steering committee chaired by former UCD professor of architecture Loughlin Kealy, was also amended by the Department of the Environment to take account of Finance’s views on public procurement, value for money and cost-benefit analysis. It notes that the policy is “being brought forward during a challenging period in the public finances”. As a result, implementation would take place within the context of Government policy on public expenditure and staff numbers as directed by the Department of Finance.
The cost of implementing the policy, entitled Towards a Sustainable Future: Delivering Quality within the Built Environment, over a six-year period has been estimated at €3.25 million – indicating that some of the more expensive actions originally proposed have been dropped.