The following statistics, extracted from the EU Commission’s Tenders Electronic Daily, provide an interesting snapshot of the level and types of procurement activity undertaken by Irish contracting authorities during 2018. It suggests a number of interesting trends including:
- the emergence of the first Dynamic Purchasing Systems as enabled by the 2014 Directives;
- significant uptake in the use of Competitive Procedure with Negotiation (41);
- the first use of Contract Modification Notices (which permit certain changes to contracts during their term);
- the first use of so-called “Light-Touch” procedures for certain health and social services as prescribed in Annex XIV to the 2014 Directive; and,
an increased use of Voluntary Ex Ante Transparency Notices (VEAT).
We will comment further on the foregoing trends in future posts over the coming weeks but, for now, here are the main details for 2018:
Irish Procurement Activity at EU level* in 2018
|Type of Notice||Number Published by Irish Contracting Authorities||Comment|
|Contract Notice||1,545||Of which 1,268 were issued under the Public Sector Directive; 269 under the Utilities Directive and 8 under the Defence Directive.|
|Contract Notice for Open Procedure||1,016|
|Contract Notice for Restricted Procedure||215|
|Contract Notice for Negotiated Procedure||237||(Utilities only)|
|Contract Notice for Competitive Procedure with Negotiation||41||(only available to Public Sector CAs since 2016)|
|Contract Notice for Competitive Dialogue||35|
|Contract Notices for Framework Agreements||320|
|Contract Award Notice||1,188||1,029 under Public Sector Directive; 157 under Utilities; 1 under Defence; 1 under other.|
|Prior Information Notice without Call for Competition||125|
|Prior Information Notice with Call for Competition||15|
|Periodic Indicative Notice||27|
|Without Call for Competition|
|Periodic Indicative Notice with Call for Competition||1|
|Concession Award Notice||4|
|Qualification System with Call for Competition||37||Available to Utilities Sector only|
|Dynamic Purchasing System||5|
|Voluntary Ex Ante Transparency Notice||28|
|Contract Modification Notice||26|
|Annex XIV Notices (“Light Touch” Procedures) subject to €750k threshold (Public Sector) and 1m (Utilities)||12||Approx. 100 such notices for EU as a whole, with remainder from UK.|
*This data relates only to contracts/concessions with values in excess of monetary thresholds prescribed in EU Directives. A large volume of contract notices for contracts under EU-Threshold values are published on the national procurement portals www.etenders.gov.ie and www.supplyGov.ie
The publication of contract notices represents the majority of activity and the number published in 2018 (1,545) represents an increase of 326 (or 26%) over the number of such notices published in 2014 (1219).
The publication of contract award notices shows a continuing and welcome improvement over previous years with 1,188 such notices published in 2018, an increase of 466 or 64% over the 722 award notices published in 2014.
At national level, the etenders website indicates that there were approximately 6,300 contract notices published on that portal during 2018 with approximately 2,800 award notices.
However, on the down side, the 2017 Appropriation Accounts published by the Comptroller and Auditor General during 2018 showed a continuing high level of contracts awarded or renewed without competitive process in 2017. The published figures show that, across the 42 Votes covered, there was a total of 686 such awards made during 2017 to a combined value of €122.6 million. These figures, which are self-declared under Circular 40/02, are in respect of central government bodies only and do not cover the Health, Local Authority, Semi-State (commercial and non-commercial) and Utilities Sectors.
With regard to the Health Sector, the 2017 HSE Annual Report confirms that non-compliance with public procurement rules remains an issue. That Report states that “Comptroller and Auditor General findings in 2017 indicated a level of non-compliance in relation to 36% (by value) of the sample of payments examined at 5 HSE locations visited during the audit.” However, the HSE (Health Procurement Services) is committed to addressing this matter and has put a programme in place to enhance compliance in the coming years.
Clearly, while much is being done by many diligent officials across the system, there is still room for improvement.
Procurement Research Limited
7 February 2019
© Copyright Procurement Research Limited, February 2019. Used by Public Procurement Services Ltd. with permission. Further use or citation not authorised without permission of copyright holder and due attribution.