New Oireachtas website to give TDs easier online access to Leinster House business cost over €1.88 million

A website to give TDs easier online access to what is going on in Leinster House ended up costing more than €1.88 million.

The digital parliament project had originally been budgeted at €1.78 million when it was given formal approval in the summer of 2020.

A business case for the project said it would make life easier for TDs to keep track of Dáil business, allow for publication in real-time, and for the sharing of content on social media.

A detailed log of expenditure on the project reveals that costs in progressing it in 2018 and 2019 came to a total of just over €160,000.

A further €882,000 was spent on the digital parliament initiative in 2020 with bills for last year coming in at a combined €840,000.

The Oireachtas said the total cost of the project – including an estimated €1.77 million in costs for external providers – had been €1.88 million.

The business case for the initiative said order papers for Dáil business had previously been published in hard copy and as a “static PDF”.

This made it difficult for people to search for content with the new project intended to provide a new electronic “one-stop shop” for TDs.

The business case said: “Members will be provided with a dynamic schedule for the first time: business will be published in real time and members can check in and out when they choose.

“The system will make business flexible and useful to members, empowering them and removing barriers to access.”