Local Businesses Must Not Be Excluded From the Public Tendering Process

Chambers Ireland has called on the Government to ensure local firms are not excluded from public tendering processes.

The call comes in a submission made to the review of Local Government Sectoral Strategy to Promote Employment and Support Local Enterprise by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

Speaking this morning Madeleine Quirke, CEO of Wexford Chamber said  “It is vital that Local Authorities use the tendering process as an opportunity to support local business and realise its importance in terms of local job retention and growth. A recent High Court decision ruled that the Commissioners for Public Works were acting ultra vires by introducing a mandatory National Procurement Framework and recommending that all public bodies purchase supplies from centralised contractors rather than local businesses. The Government urgently needs to update its guidelines to ensure that local businesses are not excluded from tendering processes.”

“Government departments and agencies need to be more mindful of the positive outcomes of awarding tenders to locally based suppliers. Rather than applying a ‘value for money’ criteria based solely on lowest price, consideration must be given to the value produced to the national economy in terms of jobs retained and created, revenue increased and welfare costs reduced arising from awarding contracts.”

Other recommendations made by Chambers Ireland in the submission include a targeted reduction in commercial rates for business in town centres, ensuring the Valuation (Amendment) (No 2) Bill is used as an opportunity to help business and increased collaboration between Local Authorities and Chambers of Commerce.

“Given our reach, which includes every geographical region and economic sector in Ireland, the Chamber Network is uniquely positioned to work with Local Authorities in supporting economic recovery and jobs locally” concluded Madeleine.

The submission can be accessed here.

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