Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (264)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

264. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will review the current managed print services framework to include the annual turnover requirements, to ensure that it is fully consistent with his recent commitments to promote small and medium enterprise involvement in procurement and reflective of social clauses. [12554/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

Managed Print Services (MPS) is a unique office print solution, where a supplier provides an all-inclusive service charged on a per click basis, that includes the provision of print/imaging devices at no capital cost to the public sector body. The supplier, in effect, provides the full infrastructure required for all day-to-day office printing. Research carried out by the National Procurement Service (NPS) has indicated that such an approach gives best value to the Irish public sector.

The MPS Framework Agreement offers all public sector bodies in the State access to a print solution that is strategic, cost efficient and that can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual organisation. Following an open competition, advertised on e-tenders and in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), the Framework Agreement for MPS was established on 8 February 2012. The Framework Agreement will be in place for two years, with an option to extend for a further two years.

The value of the Framework Agreement over two years was estimated to be up to €100 million. Taking into account the value of the Framework and the fact that suppliers are required to provide all of the print devices upfront, from their own resources, the view was taken by the NPS that the €10 million minimum turnover requirement was proportionate. Tenderers who did not have the required turnover in their own right were invited to partner with other entities to satisfy this requirement.

The minimum turnover requirement for entry into the Framework was an average of €10 million per annum for the three most recent years of audited accounts or where the date of establishment is more recent for each year the entity has been established. These turnover requirements were applied at the qualification stage as part of the competition for entry on to the MPS Framework Agreement. Under S.I. No. 329 of 2006 – European Communities (Award of Public Authority Contracts) Regulations 2006, no changes can be made to the composition of a Framework for the duration of the Agreement.

The MPS procurement competition explicitly sought to encourage the participation of SMEs. Those SMEs that believed the scope of the competition was beyond their technical or business capacity were encouraged to explore the possibilities of forming relationships with other SMEs or with larger enterprises. Larger enterprises were also encouraged to consider the practical ways that SMEs could be included in their proposals with a view to maximising the social and economic benefits of the contracts that result from these tenders.

All of the Framework Members have operations in Ireland and provide local employment. Four of the seven successful tenderers are SMEs (MJ Flood, Bryan S Ryan, Hibernian Business Equipment and Ergo). One of the tenderers did not have the required turnover in their own right to qualify for the Framework and formed an alliance with a large manufacturer to satisfy the turnover requirement. Furthermore, the Framework Members have indicated in their tender submissions that they will use a further 11 indigenous SMEs in the delivery of MPS.