Irish Economy
Irish Public Procurement: Victorian-era secrecy protects well-connected; Breaks EU law
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Feb 25, 2014 - 12:45 AM

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Irish Public Procurement: The Government keeps information on most contract awards secret, a legacy of the Victorian public service system, that protects the well-connected and is in breach of EU law.

Research on public procurement activity last year shows that  tenders amounting to €12bn were published and awarded by public sector bodies and of 7,5000, only information on one in five awards was published.

TenderScout, an online platform, says that only 10% of SMEs actually participate in the tender process.

A quarter of all tenders were in five categories: construction; ICT/technology; training and education; consultancy; and recreational, cultural or sporting services.

The HSE offered almost 200 tenders last year, followed by the Office of Public Works (OPW), Cork County Council, Dublin City Council and Bord Gais Éireann which had more than 100 tenders.

The companies which won the most tenders were Eircom, UPS, PricewaterhouseCoopers (Big 4 accounting firm), RPS (development consultants), Roadstone and Deloitte (Big 4 accounting firm).

Many of these companies have had considerable success in tendering down the years with RPS securing more than 100 contracts since 2003. Over the same period, Deloitte won 90 tenders and Eircom 80, the research reveals.

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