Renua seeks reform of State procurement system

Government spends about €13 million a year on goods from private sector providers

Lucinda Creighton launched Renua’s policy on public procurement at the Dáil yesterday. Photograph: Sara Freund

Lucinda Creighton launched Renua’s policy on public procurement at the Dáil yesterday. Photograph: Sara Freund

 

Renua has published a policy on public procurement that calls for less centralisation, more social awareness and more use of technology.

Presenting the party’s second major policy paper in a week, leader Lucinda Creighton said Renua wanted to level the playing field in the area of public procurement, especially to allow small and medium enterprises in the regions to benefit from contracts awarded by the State.

The Government spends about €13 billion every year on goods and services from private sector service providers.

Ms Creighton said because of centralisation and economies of scale, big corporations had an advantage over small and medium companies, particularly those in the regions. “Small business find it extremely difficult to benefit form any of the contracts that are available,” she said.

Renua, she said, has laid out a step-by-step plan that will no longer rely on the one-size- fits-all big government approach. It will involve following a model for regionalisation already introduced successfully in Scotland.

“We also want to see a move away from just relentless focus on the bottom line and introduce a social impact clause that will allow the providers to take into account and consideration environmental and social factors,” she said.

Ms Creighton said the party would call for mandatory training in ethics for public procurement officers.

She said she also wanted the ombudsman to have a role in overseeing public contracts. That would give oversight yet avoid the establishment of yet another quango, she said.