Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (346)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

346. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which public procurement has been refined to ensure strict compliance with the rules while at the same time allowing a smooth flow of activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27265/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Public Procurement is governed by EU legislation and National rules and guidelines. The aim of these rules is to promote an open, competitive and non-discriminatory public procurement regime that delivers best value for money.

The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) has responsibility for the National Public Procurement Policy Framework which sets the overarching policy framework for public procurement in Ireland.  This framework enables a more consistent approach to public procurement across the public sector.

The OGP facilitates a smooth flow of procurement activity by providing procurement solutions, advice, guidance and systems for public bodies, promoting good practice and proactive engagement with our sourcing partners in the Health, Education, Defence and Local Government Sectors through the Procurement Executive.

The OGP’s Public Procurement Guidelines for Goods and Services provide a comprehensive interpretation of the public procurement directives designed to improve consistency and promote best practice in the application of the public procurement rules. In addition, the OGP's Key Account Managers are in regular contact with Procurement Officers in Government departments and public bodies to assist, support and remind them of their obligations in relation to public procurement.

In relation to compliance, public procurement practices are subject to audit and scrutiny under the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993, and the Local Government Reform Act 2014. Individual Accounting Officers are responsible for ensuring that their public procurement functions are discharged in line with the standard accounting and procurement rules and procedures and are publicly accountable for expenditure incurred. Individual contracting authorities are responsible for establishing arrangements for ensuring the proper conduct of their affairs, including conformance to standards of good governance and accountability with regard to procurement.