Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (2669)

John Brady

Ceist:

2669. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of plans to tender for the local employment service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31710/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Local Employment Services and Job Clubs contracts are reviewed on an annual basis to ensure they are fit for purpose in the context of the Irish labour market, as well as providing value for money for taxpayers.

Indecon, in its reviews of LES and Job Clubs published in January, recommended the Department consider the introduction of multiannual contracts and a competitive procurement process for future provision of these services. The Department has also received legal advice to the effect that competitive procurement is now a requirement for these contracts.

Accordingly, my officials are working to design a procurement model that will balance the need for value for money for taxpayers with the importance of preserving high-quality employment advisory and counselling services. Officials will continue to engage with stakeholders in as much as it is appropriate in a procurement process.

I am on the record in recognising the valuable work performed by Local Employment Services and Job Clubs and it is my view that any future procurement process give due recognition to track records in delivering high-quality, locally based services.

Indeed, it is in everyone's interests - jobseekers, service providers and the State - to ensure, insofar as it is possible, that experienced employment service providers with a strong community ethos continue to form a core part of our employment service infrastructure.