Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Ceisteanna (127)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

127. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procurement processes used in the procurement of commercial direct provision centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37799/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

My Department currently has two separate ongoing procurement processes to identify and contract with privately owned properties for the provision of accommodation and ancillary services to persons seeking international protection – an expressions of interest process to meet immediate short-term demand and a full tender process to meet medium to long-term demand.

The expressions of interest process is advertised in the national media and seeks suitable premises on usually a one year contract. Any property offered to the Department under this process is inspected by an official to determine if it is suitable for the Department’s short-term needs.

The tender process, which is conducted through the government’s procurement portal www.etenders.gov.ie is a more in-depth process where bids are invited on a regional basis to meet a specification designed by the Department to deliver independent living for applicants in appropriate and safe surroundings. This process can take up to 5 months to go through the design, advertisement and evaluation stages. Following evaluation, bidders are advised whether they have been successful in being placed on a framework from which the Department can draw down accommodation, as required. Successful bidders have a further 16 weeks to complete all mobilisation works as set out in their tender bid before it becomes operational as an accommodation centre.

I am advised that, to date, the following regional competitions have progressed through the evaluation stage and are in the mobilisation phase; the South East, Midlands and the MidWest Regions. Evaluation is underway for the South West and Western Regions. The closing date for bids for the Mid East Region was the 16th September and evaluation will commence shortly. Advertisements for bids for the Dublin and Borders Regions are scheduled to be published by the end of this month.