More non-tendered contracts awarded
STATE TENDERING:A SHARP increase in the number of non-tendered contracts awarded by Government departments and offices was identified in the report. Such contracts increased by 82 in number last year and € 187 million in value.
Regulations require all public contracts above €25,000 to be put to tender. Exceptions are allowed in limited circumstances.
The main reason for the value increase was An Post’s € 184 million social welfare contract with the Department of Social Protection.
The Garda had the highest number of non-competitive contracts, at 116, worth € 115 million. The Garda awarded 16 non-tendered contracts for medical services of up to €3 million, with individual values up to €1.4 million.
There was an almost tripling of the number of urgent non-tendered contracts given because of the urgency due to the short notice of State visits by Queen Elizabeth and Barack Obama in May 2011.
This included 22 urgent Garda contracts at €2.3 million for accommodation and traffic management.
There was an increase from 114 to 179 of extension or rolling-over of existing contracts, almost all of which were for services.
Among these were the extension of six interpreting contracts at the Courts Service worth €1.2 million.
Contracts worth €730,000 were awarded to two health experts by the Department of Health regarding the new Special Delivery Unit, a programme aimed at improving patient flow in the acute care system.
The Irish Prison Service awarded 77 contracts valued at €8 million, including a contract for one doctor that was valued at €152,000.
The report found five non-tendered contracts that were not included in returns, including four at the Department of Communications at a value of €282,000.