OPR Publishes Pilot Methodology for Conducting Reviews of Local Authorities’ Systems and Procedures in relation to the Performance of Planning Functions

The OPR has today, 22nd published a pilot methodology for conducting reviews of local authorities’ systems and procedures in relation to the performance of planning functions.

As set out in our Strategy Statement, the OPR is implementing a programme of reviews, whereby each local authority will be subject to a general review of planning functions on a cyclical programmed basis over the next 6 years.

The programme will examine contemporary systems and procedures employed by local authorities in the performance of statutory planning functions in line with the OPR’s mandate, identifying both good practice and areas for enhancement as well as promoting learning across the local government sector.

Development of the methodology commenced in 2019 with the assistance of the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government (DHPLG), the National Oversight & Audit Commission (NOAC), the local government sector, An Bord Pleanála and the national planning institutes. Development of the methodology also benefited from engagement with wider stakeholders.

The OPR intends to commence the review programme later this year, subject to Government public health advice in relation to COVID-19. The OPR will then roll-out the programme substantively in 2021 and the years thereafter.

The methodology has been developed to ensure the general review programme is implemented in a fair and consistent manner. It sets out the various inputs and steps for the OPR, its reviewers and planning authorities. After the first reviews are completed by mid-2021, the methodology will be updated, as necessary, with any learnings from the pilot phase.

The OPR is establishing a panel of suitably qualified and experienced individuals to work with in conducting reviews. A request for tender in this regard will be hosted on the e-tenders website (www.etenders.gov.ie) from 25th May with applications accepted up until 24th June 2020.

The OPR website will be updated from time to time as regards details of upcoming and or current reviews on hand.