Government Can No Longer Be Allowed To Discriminate Against Local Business

Chambers Ireland has called on all contracting Authorities to follow the letter and spirit of Circular 10/14, which seeks to increase SME involvement in public procurement. The call comes following the revelation that some Local Authorities continue to award tenders based on lowest price.

Wexford Chamber Chief Executive, Madeleine Quirke,  said “While we welcomed the announcement of Circular 10/14 as a step in the right direction, it appears that it has made little difference in how the various arms of Government continue to award contracts to the lowest bidder.”

“A recent tender for the supply of library books in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is a perfect example of this. The criteria for awarding the tender are divided between performance at 35% and discount & servicing cost at 65%. No Irish library supplier could hope to match discounts offered by large UK companies without being reckless. Local business owners now fear for the survival of their companies as they are effectively being excluded from tendering processes by their own Local Authorities.”

“Local Authorities, along with the Office of Government Procurement, need to make procurement work for local businesses and the local economy before more companies close and jobs are lost. New Councillors in particular must be aware of this issue and keep promises that were made in the run up to the Local Election,” she concluded.