Written Answers. - Closed Circuit Television System.

Dick Spring

Question:

953 Mr. Spring asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when the tenders for monitoring of the CCTV system in Tralee in County Kerry were received; and the reason no decision has been made in relation to awarding the contract. [20716/00]

A Garda CCTV system – comprising 24 cameras – and providing extensive coverage of the main thoroughfares and some adjoining streets in the town centre has been in operation in Tralee since September 1998.

My Department invited tenders in November 1998 for the provision of a CCTV operator service for the monitoring of Garda Síochána closed circuit television systems used as an aid to policing in each of the following locations: O'Connell Street Garda office, Pearse Street Garda Station, Dublin and Tralee Garda Station in County Kerry. The proposed service entailed the provision of personnel on a 24 hour/7 day week basis to monitor and control all town/city centre cameras. The invitation to tender also made it clear that any contract would be for a trial period only and, in addition, that there was no guarantee that any tender would be selected at all.
The closing date for the receipt of tenders was 26 January 1999. Tenders for monitoring of the CCTV system in Tralee which were received prior to the closing date were examined by a Garda evaluation committee and subsequently by officials in my Department. Tenderers who passed the preliminary examination of the tenders were invited to make presentations to the evaluation committee. Those who did not pass the preliminary examination were written to by the secretary to the evaluation committee.
The prices quoted for monitoring were higher than anticipated and it was finally decided, on the basis of existing tenders, that no contract should be awarded at that stage for the provision of personnel on an agency basis to monitor Garda CCTV systems. Companies who were invited to make presentations to the Garda evaluation committee were notified of this decision in June 2000.
In arriving at the decision not to award any contract it was necessary to look at this issue on a national basis. The countrywide application of the costings quoted for civilian monitors was such that it would have significant Exchequer implications. I have, therefore, asked the Garda authorities to review the policy of dedicated monitoring of CCTV cameras. While the tender process was ongoing a number of more global issues, demand for Garda CCTV systems, shortage of Garda technicians to carry out CCTV work and the financial implications of installing additional systems, also arose in the context of a review of CCTV in general.