Procurement is a key element of the Government's Reform agenda. The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) was established to drive the reform agenda, adopt a strategic approach to public procurement, leverage the State's spending power and deliver savings for the State.
Framework agreements are one of a number of ways in which the OGP engages with the market to achieve value for money in the delivery of much-needed public goods and services. Framework agreements are established through competitive procurement processes and are agreements with suppliers or service providers which set out terms and conditions under which specific contracts can be made during the term of the agreement.
There is ongoing engagement between the OGP and our public sector clients so that the necessary contracts and frameworks are put in place to meet their requirements.
The OGP has established a Multi-Supplier Framework Agreement for the supply of Natural Gas to Public Service Bodies in Ireland. This Framework Agreement was put in place following consultations with representatives from the Education, Central Government, Local Authority, Health and the Security Services Sectors.
The OGP is currently working on the next generation Framework Agreement for the supply of Natural Gas to Public Service Bodies in Ireland. In this regard, it has sought input from the Sectors. Any proposals, including cost saving initiatives, that are put forward and that are feasible will be taken into consideration.
While the OGP is facilitating the procurement process, it should be noted that the management of schools is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Education and Skills.