National Development Finance Agency
The National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) was established on 1 January
2003. One of its principal functions is to advise State Authorities on the
optimal financing of priority public investment projects by applying commercial
standards in evaluating financial risks and costs. The NDFA's overriding objective
is to maximise value for money for the Exchequer.
The NDFA provides a centralised expert service to Government Departments and certain other State Authorities that are designated under the National Development Finance Agency Act, 2002.
The NDFA's role includes advising on the financial aspects and risk evaluation of Ireland's public-private partnership procurement projects such as road, rail and broadband infrastructure and raising or arranging finance for National Development Plan projects. It works closely with State Authorities undertaking infrastructure projects by providing advice on the financial component of invitations to tender and assessing such tenders from a financial perspective.
The NDFA also has the power to raise funding itself or through special purpose companies up to a total of 5 billion euro to finance infrastructure projects.
Extension of functions
In July 2005, the role and functions of the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) were expanded to include a specialised procurement delivery function. NDFA established a Centre of Expertise for the specialist procurement of PPP projects; initially a programme of projects from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, the Department of Education and Science, and the Department of Health and Children.
The NDFA Centre of Expertise is responsible for all aspects of delivering the procurement of the projects (with appropriate input from the Sponsoring Departments) and will hand them over to Departments after construction is complete and the asset is operational.
These new arrangements do not apply to the roads and rails sectors, where PPP deal flow is established and where existing procurement arrangements in place will continue. Similarly, current arrangements remain in place in the local government sector.
Sponsoring Ministers continue to be responsible for all aspects of the assessment and approval of projects, including the decision to procure the project as a PPP, the setting of project budgets, output specifications and other service requirements and agreeing the Public Sector Benchmark (compiled with the assistance of the NDFA). The NDFA is responsible for procuring the projects within the parameters set out by the sponsoring department/agency.