Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 22 November 2018
Public Accounts Committee
Business of Committee
Yes, we will have to bring this into that debate as well.
No. 1725B is in respect of information requested by the committee regarding structural assessments carried out in schools constructed by Western Building Systems. People will find this very interesting.
It is very detailed information on those schools that have been examined, those that have been reopened and those on which work remains to be done. A second schedule is provided regarding the schools delivered by that company and the overall procurement note. That is helpful. There is a third information note on the oversight and design and build programme, including Western Building Systems projects.
Most interestingly, we asked whether the company that got the projects was always the lowest bidder. I will give credit to the Department for providing us the full information. NAMA could follow its example. We will note and publish this interesting schedule. There are 42 schools. The note lists the top five or six tender prices, with the winning tender highlighted in red on the chart. People can print it off themselves, but it will be noted and published. In many cases, it is clear that the lowest bidder did not get the contract. A second ranking is called "Ranking of winning tenders following an EAT analysis". "EAT" means most economically advantageous tender, which is not necessarily the cheapest tender. It incorporates wider issues such as ability to deliver, track record and access to resources. According to this document, price accounted for approximately 40% of the score, not 60%. Some companies forfeited the job even though they were the lowest tender. Perhaps they had been granted four or five projects but, because they were unable to handle them all, the project fell to the next company on the list. Some companies had tendered for more than they were capable of handling.
We could discuss the 42 schools forever. Everyone has an interest in those in their own constituencies. For example, there is information relating to Portlaoise. We will note and publish the response, which contains good information on the issue. People are free to use the documentation as they see fit.