European Investment Bank paying undisclosed sum to private investment firm to disburse Broadband Funds - Matt Carthy MEP
The Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, has criticised what he called contradictory accounts from the European Commission and European Investment Bank on a public procurement process to disburse vital Broadband Funds. Speaking following denied requests for more information on this process, Carthy said:
“The European Commission is expected to launch the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund later this month. However despite this Fund benefiting from contributions from European taxpayers money in the form of the Connecting Europe Facility, I have been denied information on the outworkings of an agreement for a private investment firm “Cube” to disburse the funds.
“I was originally told in response to a Parliamentary Written Question that Cube had been chosen as fund manager in a public procurement process. However when I tried to find records of the Award Notice to see how much this investment firm will benefit, I found no trace.
“Although all Award Notices should be published in the Official Journal of the European Union, the European Investment Bank has now informed me that it was not published as there was no public procurement. This directly contradicts the response I received from the European Commission.
“The privatisation of the broadband sector has completely failed in Ireland. In fact a report published just yesterday by the European Court of Auditors states that, based on current progress and planning, it is unlikely that 30Mbps will be available to all citizens in Ireland by 2020. That Ireland will miss its targets proves what we have known all along about the lack of urgency or genuine intention to provide connectivity to rural areas by the current Government.
“The employment of yet more middle men like “Cube” in the provision of communication services is a mistake. I have today written to the European Investment Bank to demand information on exactly how much Cube are being paid for this contract, and the reasons for their involvement in this scheme.
“I will also be demanding information on whether a public procurement process took place and the reasons for non-publication of the Award Notice”.