I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department does not use a preferred supplier list in procuring accommodation centres for people seeking international protection.
My Department is currently engaged in a number of regional procurement processes. A Request for Tender (RFT) is issued through the Government’s procurement portal E-tenders for the provision of accommodation centres, including the provision of catering, housekeeping, general maintenance and security services.
It is open to any person, company or indeed non-governmental agency to enter a bid into the process. Each RFT to date has sought to establish a Multi-Supplier Framework for a specific region within the State. As the Deputy may be aware, a framework agreement is an agreement between one or more economic operators, the purpose of which is to establish the terms governing contracts to be awarded during a given period, in particular with regard to price and, where appropriate, the quantity envisaged.
All tenderers who are successful and admitted to a framework agreement by my Department have offered suitable premises to house people seeking international protection and must, as part of the agreement, provide all aspects of the management and provision of catering, housekeeping, general maintenance and security services in their proposed accommodation centres. Each Framework Agreement is for a specific period, which is outlined in each RFT.