The infamous Dáil printer is finally operational after three years
The infamous Dáil printer is finally up and running – three years after its first purchase and after spending almost € 2 million.
The state-of-the-art machine had remained idle, even after major infrastructure work had been undertaken to install it inside the Kildare House printing room, opposite Leinster House.
Oireachtas staff could not be trained to use the printer during the pandemic as the UK-based company that supplied it was unable to send training staff to Ireland due to the restrictions of Covid-19.
A spokesperson for the Houses of the Oireachtas confirmed that the training took place in mid-September and is now complete.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) reviewed the large expenses and mismanagement of the printer delivery project, which was purchased in May 2018.
A report by Dáil Clerk Peter Finnegan to PAC presented a cost breakdown showing that the main printing press cost € 808,000.
Then, with VAT and other associated equipment such as guillotines and folding 11 months at a cost of 14,000 € while the construction – – which amounted to more than 314,000 € – to integrate it into the room.
In May 2018, the Oireachtas signed an agreement to purchase the printer.
Emails a day before the deal was signed show OPW staff installing the printer estimated it to be 2.1m while the actual size was 3.2m .
The error occurred in August 2018 and resulted in the need for “significant structural” work to install the printer inside the Kildare House print room.
Although the supplier, Komori, raised concerns about the printer’s dimensions not matching those of the print room before the deal was signed, Oireachtas staff did not respond.
In December 2019, a report by Dáil’s clerk at PAC stated that it was “absolutely undeniable that a series of errors had been made during the project” and that “the errors were due to human error”.
Peter Finnegan added: “These were honest mistakes made by staff looking to improve printing services for members.” Mr Finnegan also defended the cost of the printer during his appearance before PAC and said he was “strongly of the view that the business case for buying it is still strong.”