HC Deb 20 March 1890 vol 342 cc1241-2
MR. CRILLY (Mayo, N.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury if Messrs. Patterson and Kempster, Building Surveyors of Dublin, are permanently attached, in an official capacity, to the Board of Works and Board of Control of Lunatic Asylums in Ireland; what amounts, in the event of their not being so attached, have been paid to them as fees, &c, for professional services during the last five years; what sum is at present due to them; what proportion of the total sum for five years was paid in each of these years; whether in that time estimates were sought from other surveyors in Dublin for the work done; if so, what sums were paid to other building surveyors by these two Boards during those five years; and what are the names of these other surveyors?


(1) Messrs. Patterson and Kempster are not permanently attached in an official capacity to the Board of Works and the Board of Control of Lunatic Asylums. (2) £2,298, (3) The amount due for work done or in hand has not yet been ascertained, but would probably amount to £500, (4) The amounts are: For 1885, £920; 1886, £80; 1887, £68; 1888, £783; and 1889, £447—total, £2,298. (5 and 6) Quantity surveyors are paid on an established scale of fees. The Board of Works have never invited estimates from quantity surveyors for their work. The practice formerly was for building contractors to select and employ their own surveyor to take out quantities, charging his fees as an item in the cost of the work. The Board had, under this arrangement, no control in the selection of the surveyor, though they had to pay his fees; and this led them to adopt the present system of employing a surveyor of their own selection. The following sums have been paid to other surveyors during the five years referred to:—T. C. Antisell, £47 15s. 3d.; E. Banks, £107 7s. 5d.; E. Bermingham, £71 14s. 11d.; Corbett, £5 5s.; W. H. Hill,£25; and F. Morley, £426 14s. 4d.—total, £683 16s. 11d.


Arising out of the answer of the hon. Gentleman, may I ask upon what principle a selection is made in the absence of open competition between the surveyors of Dublin; and how it is that these particular surveyors have practically enjoyed a monopoly of the work of these two Boards for the last five years? It would appear that they have received £5,000, while no other Dublin surveyor has obtained more than £800.


I suppose the reason is that they were surveyors in whom these Boards had confidence. I believe that the practice which has been adopted is the same as that adopted by private firms, namely, to employ men in whom they have confidence.