Earlier this year, I received an invitation from the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to input into the Office of Government Procurement’s (OGP’s) review of the Public Procurement Programme.
My Department wrote to the OGP in response to this request to suggest that consideration should be given to adopting a more simplified process under procurement rules for community-based groups applying for programmes such as LEADER. Such groups often procure goods and services of relatively low value, yet they are required to follow the full rigours of the national procurement guidelines. These community-based groups do not have public procurement expertise and the procurement requirements can deter good projects or lead to additional costs for the groups.
My Department received a response from the OGP in recent days. My officials are currently considering this response and will continue to engage with the OGP and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on the matter as appropriate.