Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (353)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

353. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the contract and refurbishment costs incurred to date on providing direct provision accommodation at a location (details supplied) in County Tipperary; the estimated future costs to maintain the services there; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45113/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The International Protection Procurement Services (IPPS) unit of my Department is responsible for the procurement of accommodation and ancillary services for persons in the protection process.

All accommodation centres for people seeking international protection, whether State-owned or privately owned, are operated by commercial companies. There are currently 39 accommodation centres being operated under the direct provision system.

IPPS contracts for an all-inclusive service, which includes catering services, as well as cleaning, security, maintenance and laundry services. Extensive and detailed information on the amount paid by my Department to each company contracted to provide direct provision accommodation every year up to and including 2015 can be found on the IPAS website www.ria.gov.ie under the 'Contract Values' section of the website. This is in accordance with the IPAS' policy on the disclosure of financial information, which was agreed with the Office of the Information Commissioner.

The Deputy will appreciate that it is not appropriate to provide the current contract value entered into by my Department at the location supplied. Negotiations take place with a number of commercial entities on an ongoing basis with a clear focus on achieving the best value for money in respect of each contract. It is not in the interests of yielding best value for the taxpayer that details of current individual contracts are made available to other commercial bodies who are, or may be in the future, engaged in these negotiations.

On 15 August 2019, the Spending Review on Direct Provision 2019 was published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The Review was prepared by the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES) unit of my Department with key input from the IPAS . For the Deputy's further information, I attach a link to the published Review.

http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Spending_Review.pdf/Files/Spending_Review.pdf.

As set out in the Review, it is estimated that the current average daily cost is €44.15 per person for independent centres. The details supplied refer to a centre which comes under the ‘independent living model’ but as already stated the specific contract value is subject to commercial sensitivity. The refurbishment costs incurred are the responsibility of the contractor.