My Department commenced the procurement process for a national postcode system in 2011. An open and competitive procurement process was conducted in accordance with Department of Finance and EU procurement frameworks.
A pre- qualification questionnaire was issued on www.etenders.gov.ie
on 17 January 2011. This invited interested parties to tender for the contract as a postcode management licence-holder for a period of ten years, to design, provide, disseminate and maintain a national postcode system. This procurement process followed the negotiated procedure under the relevant EU regulations. I must inform the Deputy that the process is a great deal more complex than he has presented. Given the technical complexity of the project, the Department ran the procurement following a competitive dialogue procedure provided for in the public supply and works Directive. The procurement was managed by my Department assisted by its advisors, PA Consulting.
The procurement comprised three specific stages. Stage 1 was a pre-qualification process involving the short-listing of candidates for the next stage on their technical capacity and financial and economic standing and this took place in early 2011. Stage 2 was an invitation to submit initial proposals together with a competitive dialogue and this took place in 2011. Stage 3 was the final tender and took place in June 2013. Three parties qualified following stage 1 of the procurement process.
Landmark, a UK company, withdrew from the process at the final tender stage. The Department subsequently received two final bids from consortia led by Capita and An Post, respectively. The two bids were evaluated by an evaluation team comprising senior personnel from my Department and its advisers. That evaluation process was conducted in August 2013 and the bids were analysed and evaluated under a number of award criteria.
The evaluation team concluded that Capita's proposal best met the criteria set out in the tender documentation and recommended it as the preferred bidder. I brought that recommendation to Government for approval in October 2013 and signed the contract with Capita on 20 December last year.