Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (389, 390, 391, 392, 393, 394)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

389. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the value of the contract awarded to a company (details supplied) for design of a new postcode system. [5196/14]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

390. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the number of companies that competed for the contract to design the new postal code system; and if any bids indicated that they could complete the system in a shorter time period than the winning contract. [5197/14]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

391. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if the contract to design the new postal code system was awarded through an open bidding process; if other bids came in cheaper than a company (details supplied); and under what criteria was that company judged to be the best bidder. [5198/14]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

392. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will list the bidders for the contract to design a new postal code. [5199/14]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

393. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the number of staff that will be involved in the company contracted (details supplied) to design the new postal code system. [5200/14]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

394. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if An Post placed a bid for the contract to design the new postal code system; and if so, the reason it was not deemed to have the most experience and ability to deliver the system. [5201/14]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 389 to 394, inclusive, together.

On the 8th October 2013, the Government approved the appointment of Capita Business Support Services Ireland Limited as the company which will develop, roll-out and operate the National Postcode System following the conclusion of the public procurement process. This company will operate the postcode under licence for an initial ten year period extendable at the discretion of the Minister for Communications by a further five years. The contract for these services was signed in December 2013.

The postcodes contract is expected to cost around €16m as the postcode system is developed and rolled out over the next 2 years and there will be a cost of about €1.2m per year over the remainder of the licence period.

It is intended that householders will be informed of their postcodes in 2015 when the system will come into operation. In the meantime the ground work required to design the code and update private and public sector databases to accommodate the new postcode system has just been commenced by Capita.

Three parties qualified for the procurement process. The Department subsequently received two final bids from consortia led by Capita and An Post. Landmark, a UK company, withdrew from the process at the final tender stage.

An open and competitive procurement process was conducted in accordance with Department of Finance and EU procurement frameworks. The criteria for award of the contract included financial, technical and operational considerations and the winning bid from Capita best met the criteria set out in the tender documentation which included a standard time-frame for implementation.

Capita is still engaged in putting together a number of project teams in order to design and deliver all strands of the project. At this juncture, it is not possible to give a definitive view of the number of staff to be employed on the project.