Accounts contradict statements in court
Bus Éireann’s latest accounts contradict statements that it has made publicly and to the High Court about its €150 million relationship with the Department of Education and Skills.
The State-owned bus company operates the school transport scheme for the department at a cost of about €150 million a year.
In a recent High Court case, the company and the department successfully argued that the arrangement was not a contract and had none of the features of a normal commercial arrangement.
However, Bus Éireann’s recently published accounts state: “The school transport scheme is operated under contract with the Department of Education and Skills.”
The statement contradicts what the company and the department told the court and also the court’s ruling, which was that there was no contract. Bus Éireann said yesterday the statement was meant to give a layman’s description of the arrangement.
“It was never intended to refer to the arrangement in a legal sense with legally enforceable rights.”
A spokesman denied the statement could be misleading. He said the High Court had ruled that the arrangement was not a contact within the meaning of the EU’s public contracts directive, which requires Government and State bodies to put contracts for goods and services out to tender across the EU.