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April 5, 2016, 11:22 a.m.
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general flood risk management comptroller auditor november strategic planning


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The findings are made in a special report on Strategic Planning for Flood Risk Management by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
It also found a high level interdepartmental group set up to oversee flood risk management and flooding response did not meet for a period of almost six years up to July 2015.
There was also no proper oversight for pilot projects set up to prepare flood maps and flood risk management plans for a number of river basins.
One of the national flood assessment programme’s main objectives was to produce flood hazard maps, flood risk maps and flood risk management plans. 
A first delivery target required the preparation and submission of preliminary flood risk assessments by March 2012. 
The OPW met this target, identifying 300 areas that warranted further assessment.
However, the second target required the preparation and submission of flood risk and flood hazard maps for each of the identified areas by March 2014. 
The OPW had submitted maps for only 50 of the 300 areas by the due date.
Cost estimates for four pilot projects totalled €3.5m, however, expenditure to the end of 2014 on those pilot projects ended up running to €8.9m. 
Overall however, the total cost of implementing the programme has fallen to €27.4 million from the €30 million initially estimated.
It found that capital expenditure on flood risk management between 2005 and 2014 was €329 million.
This was made up of major works at a cost of €242 million, strategic studies that cost €52 million and minor works that cost €35 million.
The report points out that 12 years on from the report of the Flood Policy Review Group and eight years after the EU Floods Directive, substantial capital expenditure continues to be incurred on an annual basis, without the benefit that would emerge from expenditure falling under the national programme.
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