“Procurement workshops identify continuing weaknesses in process” - McLaughlin
Sinn Féin Enterprise (DETI) Committee Member, Maeve McLaughlin MLA (Foyle) has said that after hosting two very well attended Procurement information workshops in Derry in recent weeks a number of continuing weaknesses were identified.
Maeve McLaughlin said:
“Following two very well attended and informative Procurement workshops which I hosted in recent weeks I note that although there have been some adjustment to Central procurement directorate guidance the intended benefits have yet to be realised in the North West. The fact remains that only 7% of public contracts in construction, services and suppliers awarded between January 2010 and December 2011 were awarded to North West companies.
“As part of the efforts to address this deficit I would urge Derry City Council (DCC) to open up its select list to a wider section of contractors and service suppliers. I would also encourage local companies to ensure that their contact details are registered with the DCC procurement officer for consideration of future tenders.
“ILEX as the body tasked with driving regeneration of the North West economy also has a responsibility to encourage participation by local companies in its procurement process. ILEX has approximately £28.4m in contracts to Ebrington and Fort George to be tendered for and I would expect that it will ensure that relevant advice and assistance is provided so that local firms can compete for this work.
“Ilex also needs to question why in its measured term contracts offered through a list of seven consultants that none of these consultants is based in Derry or wider north west - this needs to be addressed.
“It is also unacceptable that despite Sinn Féin successfully lobbying for Departments to include Social Clauses in all contracts that would create full time employment to the longterm unemployed as well as apprenticeships that DSD is now defining social clauses as a 26 weeks Steps to Work programme which is not a job - this needs to change."