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Written Answers - Public Procurement Contracts

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 203.  Deputy Joanna Tuffy Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  the steps being taken to ensure that the schools built under the school building programme, and the replacement buildings for prefabs, provide jobs for tradespeople local to the construction being carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23651/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn It is a key principle, enunciated in the Public Procurement Guidelines, published by the NPPPU, that the public procurement function is discharged honestly, fairly, and in a manner that secures best value for public money. Contracting authorities must be cost effective and efficient in the use of resources while upholding the highest standards of probity and integrity.

The Guidelines require a competitive process carried out in an open, objective and transparent manner to achieve best value for money in public procurement. This is in line with EU Treaty principles and EU Directives on public procurement. The recently published Depart[371]ment of Finance Circular 10/10 was designed to provide small and medium enterprises with a level playing field for competing for public contracts.

Essential principles to be observed in conducting all procurement functions include non-discrimination, equal treatment, transparency, mutual recognition, proportionality, freedom to provide service and freedom of establishment. The Directives impose legal obligations on public bodies in regard to advertising and the use of objective tendering procedures for contracts above certain value thresholds.

In common with the rest of the Public Sector, capital works projects in schools are tendered under the standard Public Works Contracts as required by the Department of Finance and the Government Contracts Committee for Construction (GCCC). These contracts do not include provisions concerning the employment of local labour.

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