My Department is subject to Public Procurement Procedures as set out by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. These are available on the Office of Government Procurement’s website at www.ogp.gov.ie.
Within this context value for money is a critical consideration in assessing whether external firms should be engaged to provide services.
The information requested by the Deputy in respect of payments made to consultancy agencies assisting with policy messaging on social media on behalf of my Department is set out below.
Following a competition in 2017 through e-tenders, Culture Ireland Unit engaged Mr. Nik Quaife on a 1 year contract for the provision of services including a communications strategy for its GB18 programme, to celebrate and renew Ireland’s cultural relationship with Britain.
My Department engaged D’Arcy Marketing and BigO in 2018 to promote awareness of the 2018 European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) campaign for the recruitment of Irish language translators to the institutions of the European Union.
BigO Media were awarded a contract through e-tenders in 2017 for the creation of digital content to generate awareness of the Creative Ireland Programme, including awareness of events across Ireland for Cruinniú na nÓg. This includes social media and videos and is centred on creativity and culture. That contract has now just expired and a new procurement process for digital content services is currently underway.
A separate procurement process was run in 2018 for media buying services which was awarded to Mindshare. This essentially involves developing strategic plans to promote specific elements of the Creative Ireland Programme (for example the forthcoming Cruinniú na nÓg) using curated content, features and editorial, across all media channels, including social and digital platforms.