Dáil Éireann - Volume 470 - 30 October, 1996
Written Answers. - Air-Sea Rescue Service.
Mr. Killeen Mr. Killeen
32. Mr. Killeen asked the Minister for the Marine by whom the tenders for the air-sea rescue service were evaluated; whether the  matter was referred to the Government's Contracts Committee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16550/96]
Minister for the Marine (Mr. Barrett) Minister for the Marine (Mr. Barrett)
Minister for the Marine (Mr. Barrett): I announced on 2 August 1996 that the Government had approved the award of a contract to Bond Helicopters (Ireland) Ltd., for the provision of a marine emergency helicopter including search and rescue based at Shannon Airport. The contract will commence on 1 January 1997, on the expiry of the existing contract with Irish Helicopters Ltd., and will be for a minimum period of two and a half years with an option to extend for up to five years. The three tenders received for the contract were evaluated by a high level contract group within my Department which included the director of the Irish Marine Emergency Service, the chief engineer of the Irish Marine Emergency Service, senior civil servants from the Department of the Marine and the Department of Finance and a specialised aviation consultant.
Evaluation of the tenders was a complex process involving consultation with tenderers, manufacturers of auto-hover equipment, helicopter manufacturers and the Irish and UK aviation authorities. It is not the function of the Government Contracts Committee to evaluate tenders of this technical nature. Its function is to provide sanction to deviate from normal contract procedures, for example if the lowest cost tender was not accepted. As this competition followed strict tender guidelines the need to involve the Government Contracts Committee did not arise.
Dáil Éireann 470 Written Answers. Air-Sea Rescue Service.