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Public Procurement Regulations

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 5 February 2013

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Questions (365, 367)

Dara Murphy


365. Deputy Dara Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the guidelines and practices in force in dealing with public procurement contracts in awarding contracts to private enterprises and individuals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5506/13]

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Dara Murphy


367. Deputy Dara Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the rules and regulations in relation to the public procurement for goods, services and contracts; if the regulations are the same for all public procurement; if it is a requirement that semi-State bodies apply the same rules; and if not, if he will outline the leeway or guidelines are required by law or otherwise to the semi State sector. [5849/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 365 and 367 together.

Public procurement is the acquisition, whether under formal contract or not, of works, supplies and services by public bodies. Public procurement in Ireland is governed by legal requirements, rules and guidelines set both at national and EU level. The general requirements are set out in the Public Procurement Guidelines - Competitive Process 2004 (revised). This guidance incorporates key elements of EU legislation that have been transposed into Irish law and is complemented by circulars and guidance issued by my Department and the National Procurement Service.

The full range of regulations, circulars, guidelines and relevant template documents (e.g. standard forms of contract, model tender documentation) are available on the Government’s eTenders website at:

Public procurement rules apply to: Central Government Departments and bodies under their aegis; Commercial or non-commercial state bodies; Local and regional authorities; and, entities that are substantially state-funded (over 50 per cent).

Certain categories of contracts are excluded from the scope of the general EU public procurement Directive (EU Directive 2004/18/EC). These categories include:

- contracts covered by the utilities rules (there is a specific regime for entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors - EU Directive 2004/17/EC);

- property transactions;

- employment contracts;

- public service concession contracts; and,

- contracts dealing with defence.

The utilities sector has a more flexible regime as entities operating in these sectors are more likely to be in direct competition with private sector suppliers.

The aim of European and national rules is to promote an open, competitive and non-discriminatory public procurement regime which delivers best value for money.