Updated: 23/02/17 : 11:53:37
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FF Bill to help local businesses compete for State tenders

Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Marc Mac Sharry says a new Bill being brought forward by his party will help local businesses and contractors to compete more effectively for State tenders by using a social value clause to level the playing field.

The ‘Public Services and Procurement (Social Value) Bill 2017’ was debated in the Dáil this week. The Bill aims to increase competition in the public procurement tending process by enhancing the ability for Small and Medium sized businesses to compete for public tenders.

Deputy Mac Sharry commented, “Small and medium businesses play a vital role in our local and national economy, but unfortunately many are unable to compete effectively with large multinationals when it comes to State contracts.

“The State currently spends approximately €12bn each year on procuring goods, services and works every year, however many of these contracts are awarded to non-Irish companies.  The Houses of the Oireachtas can be used as an example - for generations, the uniforms of ushers in Leinster House were produced in County Sligo using Irish materials by the master tailor Mr. Joseph Martin.  He was asked to maintain the tender price so that it could go for public tender.  It did, and now those uniforms are manufactured in Belgium and distributed through an Irish agent.

“In recent years, the Dáil restaurants have changed their delph, and a cursory glance at the back of the plates reveals that they are manufactured in the United Arab Emirates.  I find it difficult to imagine that the German, French or Belgian parliament would outsource the delph they use in their dining areas in their Houses of Parliament.

“We need to be smarter about how we do our business.  We have been consumed with the cost and price, always overlooking the value to the economy.   The social value must be a consideration.  Our Bill will give it the weighting that it deserves and allow small local businesses an opportunity to compete with these large corporate companies for State tenders”.