Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (318)

Noel Grealish

Question:

318. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a directive has been issued to primary and post-primary schools requiring that they purchase all stationery-paper from an Office of Public Works-selected company, identified through the public procurement process or may they purchase from local suppliers using best value for money; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30198/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The National Procurement Service (NPS) is focused on developing centralised arrangements for the procurement of goods and services used commonly across the public service nationwide. The benefits arising from these central arrangements include: cash savings; administrative savings from reduced duplication of tendering; greater purchasing expertise; improved consistency; and enhanced service levels.

While it is felt that the NPS contracts for stationery and paper offer the best value for money on a national basis, it is permissible for buyers to purchase goods and services from non-NPS suppliers if these goods and services are demonstrably cheaper. However, where a public service body purchases such goods or services it may need to explain the rationale for not using the NPS arrangements and provide a value for money justification that takes account of the full costs incurred in managing its own procurement process.