Complaints over revamped tender site
The Government’s revamped etenders website, which promises to remove red tape and make it easier to win public contracts, has sparked many user-complaints following its relaunch.
The redesigned site, etenders.gov.ie, unveiled yesterday by Minister of State for Public Service Reform Brian Hayes, is intended to streamline public procurement and end the cumbersome paper trail traditionally associated with the process.
However, dozens of frustrated users posted complaints on Twitter and other tech forums yesterday complaining about the site’s slow speed and general poor functionality.
“Page loads were incredibly slow with lots of errors trying to log in and view tenders. When I did log in I couldn’t download any documents,” said one user who contacted The Irish Times. “The old site seemed to work fine; it wasn’t pretty but it did the job.”
Another user posted on Twitter: “Given up trying to use the new etenders site – loads of errors, pages not loading. Life’s too short.”
Maryrose Lyons of Brightspark Consulting said: “First I telephoned the number on the email with the tender notifications, got on to a really nice girl in Ireland, who said that they no longer handle etenders support. She gave me another number. Called the other number (an 021 number) and got through to a French messaging system.”
The contract to build the new site was outsourced by the Government to Swedish company EU Supply after no Irish companies bid for the tender. The company has subcontracted its technical support function to a call centre in Estonia.
A National Procurement Service spokesman said yesterday the site was experiencing a “huge volume of traffic” and this may be causing delays.
Launching the site, Mr Hayes promised it would make the awarding of State contracts “a lot easier”. The website streamlined the process in favour of suppliers who had rightly complained about “the endless documentation that is attached to each bid”.