Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
673. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number and value all procurement contracts that took place by way of negotiated procedure without prior publication in 2020 and to date in 2021; and the date, value and purpose of each negotiated procedure contract in tabular form. [49723/21]
My Department ensures that there is an appropriate focus on good practice in procurement and that procedures are in place to ensure compliance with relevant guidelines and legislation.
EU and national rules promote an open, competitive and non-discriminatory public procurement regime which delivers value for money. EU Directives declare that there can be legitimate reasons for awarding contracts non-competitively, such as extreme urgency brought about by unforeseeable events or if there is a single supplier to perform the contract. Therefore, a non-competitive procurement is not necessarily non-compliant with procurement rules.
Circular 40/02 issued by the Department of Finance requires my Department to report all contracts above €25,000 (exclusive of VAT) awarded without a competitive process to the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) by 31 March of the following year.
In 2020, 81 contracts with a value of €11,774,607.18 were awarded without a competitive process and declared on the Circular 40/02 return as expenditure against those contracts exceeded the reporting threshold of €25,000.
Of this, contracts valued at €8,327,906.39 were undertaken without a competitive process but are considered compliant, as the justification for awarding these contracts without a competitive process falls within the exceptions to open/competitive procurement permitted in national and EU legislation.
The remaining procurements with a value of €3,446,700.79 were also undertaken without a competitive process but not considered compliant as the contracts were not subject to an independent review prior to the award of the contract. Details of the 2020 40/02 return are below.
My Department is committed to reducing the level of non-compliant procurement undertaken. The Central Procurement Unit, supports Divisions undertaking procurements through the dissemination of key policy information, advice and support in the preparation of tenders and other procurement related matters. Through direct engagement across the Department, the Unit has sought to ensure best practice at an operational level so that effective value for money is achieved in a compliant manner. Since 2017, the Department has reduced the level of non-competitive procurement significantly.
Information on any instances of non-compliant procurement that arise in 2021 will be available in my Department's 2021 Appropriation Account which will be published by the Comptroller and Auditor General in 2022.
Value of contracts appearing on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine's 2020 Circular 40/02 return by category
|Subject of Contract / Purchase||Ex VAT Amount|
|ICT Software/ Licences||€1,477,575.41|
|Lab Equipment – Purchases, Maintenance, Support||€335,050.75|
|Rendering and Biological Waste Disposal||€5,053,465.41|
|Disposal of Carcass Waste||€26,442.00|
|Franking and Mailroom Services||€97,645.78|
|Works: Marine Contractor||€303,011.92|
|Consultancy Services (Ecologist)||€53,154.75|
|Beef Carcase Classification||€25,833.20|
|Strategic Assessment (Agri-Food 2030 Strategy)||€28,141.09|
|Forestry Mapping Hardware & Software||€44,952.21|