Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (148)

Seán Fleming

Question:

148. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on public bodies granting contracts for works to be carried out here where the companies registered office are in the British Virgin Islands or in other jurisdictions thousands of miles away; his views on whether these companies will be fully compliant with public procurement guidelines such as tax clearance certificates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32441/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Public procurement is the acquisition, whether under formal contract or not, of works, supplies and services by public bodies. National rules governing public procurement must comply with the relevant EU, WTO and national legal requirements and obligations. Under EU law, public contracts above a certain value must be advertised EU-wide and awarded to the most competitive tender in an open and objective process. 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. It would be a breach of the rules for a public body to favour or discriminate against particular candidates on grounds of location or nationality and there are legal remedies which may be used against any public body infringing these rules.

Public procurement procedures require applicants to meet certain standards when applying for public contracts. In this regard applicants are required to make declarations in relation to their financial standing, their legal standing and in relation to payment of taxes and social contributions.

Prior to the award of the works contract, the successful applicant is also required to produce a current Tax Clearance Certificate from the Revenue Commissioners. Under our national rules, any non-resident contractor being awarded a public contract must provide a Tax Clearance Certificate issued by Revenue confirming that the firm’s tax affairs are in order and that it has complied with its tax obligations in this jurisdiction. Additional information in relation to tax requirements for non-resident contractors can be obtained at revenue.ie.

The management of the tendering process for a public contract is a matter for each contracting authority. It is the responsibility of each contracting authority to ensure that tenderers comply with all the requirements of the process.