I can inform the Deputy that my Department advertised a tender competition in September 2018 for suitable premises within 40km of Newbridge, Co. Kildare for accommodation and ancillary services for international protection applicants.
Successful bidders were required to undertake mobilisation works to provide for cooking facilities for residents, a foodhall (where residents can procure ingredients and food items as well as toiletries and household items through a points system) and to provide designated living space for families outside of the bedrooms. A period of 12 weeks was permitted for the completion of any required mobilisation works prior to the inspection of the premises by staff of the International Protection Accommodation Service of my Department (formerly known as the Reception and Integration Agency). Successful bidders were advised that no contract would enter into effect until the mobilisation works were completed and the premises inspected.
The provider of premises at the Towers Centre in Clondalkin, Dublin 22 was successful in being placed on the tender framework. The owner of the premises was advised that the 12 week mobilisation period commenced on 11 April 2019, which required all works to be complete by the 4 July 2019. The contractor subsequently advised that they were not in a position to commence mobilisation as they had focused resources on the mobilisation works required at other accommodation centres, which had also been placed on the framework. My Department is continuing to engage with the provider to establish a commencement date for the mobilisation works.
I should also inform the Deputy that, due to increases in the number of people seeking protection in the State, the Immigration Service in my Department has since commenced a national procurement programme for additional accommodation centres. This comprises a series of regional competitions through the Government's procurement website www.etenders.gov.ie. Advertisements were placed last week for a tender competition for the Dublin region.