Getting the Most from Public Spending – My New Bill
on Public Procurement
In early April I will be bringing a new Private Members’ Bill
on Public Procurement into the Seanad which will, I hope,
improve joined-up thinking and quality within state contracts.
Now more than ever, we need to know that the public money
we spend is giving us the best results – and that means
thinking it through in terms of sustainability, employment,
social impact, human rights, equality and the environment.
The controversies over the National Children’s Hospital,
Cervical Check Screening and Western Building Systems are
just a few examples of why our procurement system needs
reform. Cervical Check demonstrates, for example, how a
tender based on lowest price may cost far more in the long
run, including a deep personal cost to the health and lives of
women a ected.
My Bill could reduce the chances of this happening again
by making “price-quality ratio” the default option in all
In the case of the billions being spent on the National
Development Plan 2019 – 2027, the Bill looks for 50% quality
criteria on any major project. It also introduces guidelines
on how environmental, employment, social and equality
considerations can be re ected in those criteria.
I am hoping to secure cross-party support for these practical
and much needed proposals.