Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (292)

Carol Nolan

Question:

292. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the details of contracts of €25,000 or more that have been awarded by his Department, or bodies under the aegis of his Department, that were found to be non-compliant with procurement guidelines from 1 January 2019 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37803/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the procurement processes for all contracts in my Department were carried out in accordance with the Office of Government Procurement’s (OGP) Public Procurement Guidelines for Goods and Services which aim to promote an open, competitive and non-discriminatory public procurement regime which delivers the best value for money.

Five procurement processes valued over €25,000 (excluding VAT) were undertaken in 2019 and 2020 by my Department under the terms of Article 32 of the Public Sector Procurement Directive (2004/18/EC). This Article provides for the awarding of contracts without the use of a competitive procedure in certain circumstances, including, for example: where no suitable tenders have been submitted in response to an open or restricted procedure; where competition is absent for technical reasons; and for reasons of extreme urgency brought about by unforeseeable events.

The Deputy will note that there was an increase in the number of Article 32 procurements valued over €25,000 in my Department in 2020, in comparison with 2019. This was primarily due to the operational impacts of the Covid-19 public health emergency, which has led to major changes in how the Department delivers on its strategic remit.

Details of all contracts/purchases of more than €25,000 (exclusive of VAT) undertaken without a competitive process, and the reasons for doing so, are notified to the Comptroller and Auditor General when preparing the Annual Appropriation Accounts and published in that context.

The relevant information in respect of my Department is set out in the table below.

Contracts over €25,000 approved without a Competitive Tender process

Year

Body

Company Awarded Contract

Details of the Contract

Value of Contract (€)

2020

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Equinix

To support Government Network connectivity between Public Sector Bodies (PSBs) and telecommunication providers and other third party bodies that PSBs engage directly with

€55,000

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

AwS

Provision of IT Cloud Services to facilitate increased demand for Gov.ie services that have arisen in the context of Covid-19

€100,000

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Eir (Security Services)

Provision of IT Security Services to enhance malware detection and prevention systems in response to a National Cyber Security Centre alert on heightened threat levels arising from Covid-19

€123,000

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

McCann Fitzgerald Solicitors

Provision of legal advices on advisory notes and legal agreements for use with standard form Capital Works Management Framework contracts in response to Covid-19 measures

€29,520

2019

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Equinix

To support Government Network connectivity between Public Sector Bodies (PSBs) and telecommunication providers and other third party bodies that PSBs engage directly with

€54,853

Note: Details of transactions with other public sector bodies are not included.

I am informed that the position in respect of the Bodies under the aegis of my Department is as set out below.

Contracts over €25,000 approved without a Competitive Tender process

Year

Body

Company Awarded Contract

Details of the Contract

Value of Contract (€)

2019

Ombudsman’s Office

Accent Solutions

Continuation of contract for cleaning services arising due to relocation of premises in December 2019

€33,341

2019

Public Appointments Service

Emerald Cleaning Services

Continuation of commercial cleaning services pending outcome of decision on long-term status of premises. A tender on foot of competitive process was awarded in February 2020

€70,000

2019

Office of Public Works

Various

There were thirty five contracts for 2019, totalling €2.959 million:

- €140,236 related to one contract for urgent specialised work of a security nature

- €1,189,526 related to payments to eight suppliers where no contract was in place at the time of supply

- €440,207 related to six contracts where the incorrect procurement method was used

- €1,189,307 related to 20 contracts which were procured from a single suitable supplier or a contractor with specialised expertise or due to urgency.

€2,959,000