29. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to review all areas of public expenditure with regard to public procurement or grant aid which have employment implications to ensure that employment generated from such expenditure is quality employment and that such funding is not used to underpin precarious forms of employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13007/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Public procurement is the acquisition, whether under formal contract or not, of works, goods and services by public bodies. National rules governing public procurement must comply with the relevant EU, WTO and national legal requirements and obligations. Under EU law, public contracts above a certain value must be advertised EU-wide and awarded to the most competitive tender in an open and objective process. The aim of Europe...

34. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on the number of contracts awarded without competitive procurement as outlined in the latest annual 40/2002 circular; his plans to address this non-competitive procurement; if each Department and office has created a central register of all contracts which records key data including whether or not a competitive process was used as recommended by the Comptroller and Auditor General in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11315/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Public Procurement is governed by EU and National rules. The aim of these rules is to promote an open, competitive and non-discriminatory public procurement regime which delivers best value for money.   It is a basic principle of public procurement that competitive tendering should be used other than in justifiably exceptional circumstances.  
Under Department of Finance Circular 40/02, Accounting Officers of Government Departm...

37. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if all contracts awarded by agencies under his remit follow public procurement and competition rules; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7265/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Adherence to public procurement and competition rules by State agencies under the aegis of my Department is an operational matter for each Agency.
Procedures for procurement by State Bodies are set out in the  Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies 2016. In accordance with section 8.16 of the Code of Practice, it is the responsibility of the Board to satisfy itself that the requirements for public ...

199. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the body responsible for the enforcement of breaches of public procurement guidelines and EU directives regarding the tendering and public procurement by Departments and State agencies; the legislation that governs the enforcement of public procurement; the role the Office of Public Procurement plays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4078/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): To create a level playing field for all businesses across Europe, EU law sets out minimum harmonised procurement rules. The EU Procurement and Remedies Directives govern the way public authorities and certain utility operators purchase goods, works and services. The rules are transposed into Irish law and apply to tenders for public contracts whose monetary value exceeds certain thresholds. There are remedies available when ...

22. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on whether the guidelines for public procurement are being applied consistently throughout the public service; the way in which the Office of Government Procurement satisfies itself that its guidelines are applied consistently throughout the different branches of the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2341/18 asked on 18 Jan 2018 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): 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 which delivers best value for money.
The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) has responsibility for developing and setting out the overarching policy framework for public procurement in Ireland. In this regard, the OGP has developed the ...

11. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on whether the guidelines for public procurement are being applied consistently throughout the public service; the specific measures that have been implemented to ensure that there is adherence to the rules on public procurement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53462/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Deputy Dara Calleary: The Minister and I have had several discussions on procurement and particularly on making it a friendlier process for small business. Is he happy that the guidelines for public procurement are consistent across the public service? Is he happy that those rules are being applied? Will he comment on an issue that arose overnight, the spending of €135,000 by the Central Bank on a lighting installation in its new headquarters? Is that a good use of taxpayers’ money?
 ...

115. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his attention has been drawn to the fact that around 40% of the clients of a company (details supplied) here are in the public sector and that the value of the company’s contracts with Government Departments is approximately €139 million; if he will consider reviewing the company’s public sector contracts in view of same; and his plans to revise public procurement regulations to ensure that companies in receipt of public contracts conform to best practice with regard to labour rights and respect for the State’s industrial relations mechanisms. (Question 49531/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Public Procurement is governed by EU and National rules. The aim of these rules is to promote an open, competitive and non-discriminatory public procurement regime which delivers transparency and value for money outcomes. 
In addition, public procurement regulations require applicants to meet certain standards when applying for public contracts.  The criterion upon which contracting authorities may exclude applicants from the ...

73. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which public procurement procedures can achieve savings in the course of 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47554/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The OGP and its partner sector sourcing organisations in Health, Education, Local Government and Defence have enabled procurement savings estimated at €300 million over 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The 2017 savings outturn has not been finalised but the target for 2017 was between €80 and €100 million and current indications are that this will be achieved. The OGP and its partner sector sourcing organisations in Health, Educatio...

104. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if semi-State bodies are obliged to give tenders to Irish companies if prices are comparative with foreign companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42097/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Public procurement is the acquisition, whether under formal contract or not, of works, supplies and services by public bodies.  National rules governing public procurement must comply with the relevant EU, WTO and national legal requirements and obligations.  Under EU law, public contracts above a certain value must be advertised EU-wide and awarded to the most competitive tender in an open and objective process. The aim of Eur...

44. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the progress in implementing new guidelines on the public procurement process that will allow small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs, to compete fairly for contracts; the method his Department will use to monitor adherence to the guidelines; the penalties that will be imposed if the guidelines are not followed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40451/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Deputy Dara Calleary: Procurement is still a mystery to many SMEs. It has considerable potential. The Minister has published new guidelines on public procurement processes, but what plans has he to publicise them and, more importantly, ensure that they are implemented and adhered to in order that SMEs are protected by them and know their way around the process?
 ...

51. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he given consideration to substantial penalties for companies in receipt of public contracts that do not meet minimum standards of proper wages and conditions for their employees or that are found to be fraudulent and or non-compliant with the law in areas such as tax, health and safety and building regulations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40483/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The enforcement of tax, social welfare, and employment legislation; health and safety, and building control regulations etc. apply equally to public and private sector contracts. Consequently, it is not for me as Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to set out a separate policy for public sector contracts.  
It is the responsibility of each contracting authority to ensure that contracts are awarded to compliant businesse...

113. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the detail of the procedures for tendering outlined in the new guidelines for public procurement for goods and services published in July 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40635/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): My colleague, Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan, launched the new Public Procurement Guidelines for Goods and Services in July.  The purpose of these guidelines is to promote best practice and consistency of application of the public procurement rules in relation to the purchase of goods and services.  The guidelines are published on the OGP website @ www.ogp.gov.ie. 
Public Procurement is governed by well-established EU and ...

123. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which procurement procedures continue to achieve good value for the taxpayer and speedy delivery to the consumer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40738/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Procurement reform is a key element of the Government’s overall reform programme and is aimed at delivering increased value for money, more accurate and timely data and improvements in the capacity and capability of the procurement function across the public service and supporting increased compliance. The fragmented procurement arrangements across the public service which existed prior to this facilitated among other things s...

572. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if semi-State bodies and agencies under his Department’s remit, including RTE, are required to engage in a public tendering process in accordance with competition law when awarding contracts for contracted work for those bodies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39415/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The information requested regarding the agencies under the aegis of my Department is an operational matter for each Agency. I will request the relevant bodies to reply directly to the Deputy with the information requested in respect of their organisation.
 ...

171. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the measures his Department has implemented to support SMEs in accessing the public procurement market; the steps that have been taken to allow Government bodies access procurement locally as promised in the programme for Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32444/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Public Procurement is governed by EU and National rules. The aim of these rules is to promote an open, competitive and non-discriminatory public procurement regime which delivers the best value for money. It would be a breach of the EU rules for a public body to favour particular candidates on grounds such as organisation size, locality, nationality, etc. and there are legal remedies which may be used against any public body i...

20. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to support the passage of the Public Services and Procurement (Social Value) Bill 2017 which passed Second Stage, and was referred to select committee on 22 February 2017; the measures he is taking to ensure that contracts are structured in a way that enables SMEs to compete; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26204/17 asked on 01 Jun 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Whilst the reform of public procurement has been a key element in the ongoing Government reform programme, care has been taken to ensure it is carried out in a manner that encourages SME participation. The EU Procurement Directives, transposed into Irish law in May 2016, contain provisions to make it easier for SMEs to tender for public procurement contracts.  These include the following:
- financial capacity criterion is less ...

141. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which public procurement procedures remain an asset or an obstacle in the context of economic recovery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26372/17 asked on 01 Jun 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Procurement reform is a key element of the Government’s overall reform programme and is aimed at delivering increased value for money, more accurate and timely data and improvement in the capacity and capability of procurement across the public service.  The fragmented procurement arrangements across the public service facilitated amongst other things suppliers charging different public service bodies different prices for the s...

485. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the non-compliance with procurement regulations on the part of the HSE in recent years; the circumstances in which this took place; and the steps which were taken in order to rectify same. (Question 25823/17 asked on 30 May 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 485 and 486 together.
As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.
 ...

486. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health the steps which were taken regarding chapter 14 of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s Report on the Accounts of the Public Services 2013 which identified significant instances of non compliance in relation to procurement regulations; and the steps his department has taken to rectify same (Question 25824/17 asked on 30 May 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 485 and 486 together.
As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.
 ...

48. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to review procurement procedures in the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23261/17 asked on 17 May 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The procurement of goods and services by the Defence Forces is carried out in accordance with public procurement policy and national and European Union law. Procurement procedures in the Defence Forces are kept under constant review to ensure they are in line with best practice, guidance and the legal framework.
A wide range of non-capital goods and services are procured directly by the Defence Forces. These include items asso...

459. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government the procurement rules for the tendering process for services such as drain cleaners; the reason local contractors find themselves excluded from this process yet they are the ones who deliver on the tender as sub-contractors to the winning tender; if the procurement process will include a positive weighting system which acknowledges local knowledge and expertise, track record and previous work with local authority water sections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19664/17 asked on 02 May 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels. Contracts entered into by Irish Water are a matter for the utility and I have no function in the matter. 
Irish Water has established a dedicated team to deal with representations and queries from public representatives. The team can be cont...

31. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he is satisfied that public procurement rules as set out by the Office of Government Procurement are being adhered to by each Department and public body to which they apply; the way he satisfies himself that these rules are being adhered to; if there are penalties for those Departments or public bodies which do not adhere to the rules; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18706/17 asked on 13 Apr 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Public Procurement is governed by well-established EU and National rules and guidelines. The aim of these rules is to promote an open, competitive and non-discriminatory public procurement regime which delivers best value for money.
EU Directives on public procurement require that public contracts above certain financial thresholds must be advertised on the Official Journal of the EU and awarded on the basis of objective and no...

205. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which procurement procedures continue to achieve good value for the taxpayer and speedy delivery to the consumer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18960/17 asked on 13 Apr 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Procurement reform is a key element of the Government’s overall reform programme and is aimed at delivering increased value for money, more accurate and timely data and improvements in the capacity and capability of the procurement function across the public service and supporting increased compliance. The fragmented procurement arrangements across the public service which existed prior to this facilitated amongst other things...

2. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the details of the review of public procurement oversight his Department has undertaken in view of the significant disclosures of material non-compliance with procurement rules involving contracts worth €500,000 or more that have been reported by the Comptroller and Auditor General in his annual report 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10495/17 asked on 02 Mar 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Deputy David Cullinane: I am inquiring as to whether the Department has carried out any review of public procurement rules. I have done some research into this issue and as a member of the Committee of Public Accounts, I can tell the Minister that non-compliance with public procurement rules comes up repeatedly. The Comptroller and Auditor General has reported on this consistently as a difficulty, particularly in the health area. Is the Minister aware of the levels of non-compliance?
 ...

20. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the failures or non-compliance with public procurement rules identified by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10496/17 asked on 02 Mar 2017 - Public Procurement Regulations)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Public Procurement guidelines require that a competitive process should be the norm when purchasing and awarding public contracts except in duly justifiable circumstances. Even in the case of procurement which might not be subject to the full scope of EU Directives, the EU Commission and European Court of Justice have ruled that EU Treaty principles must be observed.  The essential Treaty principles include non discrimination,...