Dáil Éireann - Volume 687 - 08 July, 2009

Written Answers. - Public Procurement.

Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Finance the value of savings realised from the procurement review; the make-up of these savings; and his plans to make areas of public service delivery contestable by outside providers. [27897/09]

  Deputy Brian Lenihan: The National Public Procurement Operations Unit was established in the Office of Public Works earlier this year. It has been actively examining the means by which reductions in all contracts for goods and services over €100,000 can be achieved. To that end, it has requested all Departments, Offices, Agencies, Local Authorities and Third Level Education bodies to supply it with details of such contracts which are in place at present and, furthermore, to seek reductions of up to 8% on all the contracts involved. The process of negotiating these reductions has commenced. Due to the substantial number of contracts to be dealt with by the over 600 organisations involved, it is not possible at this early stage to quantify the definitive savings which will be achieved.

In regard to public service delivery, Towards 2016 recognised that there can be situations where, without affecting the essential ethos of the public service, work can be carried out or services delivered more effectively and efficiently, by contracting work to the private sector or outsourcing it to other public service bodies, or a combination thereof. Any such developments would be the subject of discussions with the relevant unions. Developments in this area will take account of the report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes and the report of the Task Force on the Public Service.