‘Too Often In Ireland We Ask The Pertinent Questions After The Fact’


From top: Logo for Actavo, formerly Siteserv, Minister for Communications Denis Naughten

Last week Minister for Communications Denis Naughten revealed that Denis O’Brien’s Actavo, formerly known as Siteserv, was part of the final consortium bidding for the national broadband plan (NBP)

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has accepted a request to quiz Department of Communications officials on the tendering of the contract, following an appeal from Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy.

Ms Murphy has asked the public spending watchdog to ‘consider why some companies exited the tender process and also to review the circumstances which preceded the opening of the tender process’.

Ms Murphy said:

“It is absolutely fair to point out that the entire tendering process has substantially changed since it first began.

We now find ourselves in a situation where some parties have exited the process leaving only one party vying for the lucrative contract. In addition, the one remaining consortium has itself changed substantially since it first entered the process.

I also think we need explanations about the circumstances which preceded the process, including the contract for the MAN’s and how that might have affected the valuation of Enet & the State’s subsequent purchase of a large portion of Enet.

The roll-out of the NBP is the next vital piece of communications infrastructure in this country and it is vital that when the contract is awarded there are no questions left hanging regarding the robustness of the process.

Too often in Ireland we ask the pertinent questions after the fact and end up dealing with legacy issues so this time I am asking that we address those questions before the contract is awarded.”

Previously: ‘543,000 Families And Businesses Do Not Care What Name Is On The Side Of The Van’

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11 thoughts on “‘Too Often In Ireland We Ask The Pertinent Questions After The Fact’

  1. giggidygoo

    And yet again, the true opposition beings the process of holding this government to account. FF very quiet. (Maybe they would like to follow follow Cowan’s footsteps?) SF surprisingly quiet.

  2. phil

    The whole thing is very very smelly ….

    I think Im going to fire off an email to the European Commission , dont know how useful that would be , but I reckon its no harm for them to look into the process


    Thing about Denny is, his face betrays him.. No matter what he says, no matter what he denies, he has a face you could never trust, theres a bang of pent up anger & frustration off him. Angry hes been foundout or angry simply at the accusations? Either way no smoke without fire etc..

  4. Ronan

    This is very smelly.

    At a guess,

    1. An interested party initially stays out of any consortium.

    2. As tender process goes through the stages, the department start adding unreasonable guarantees and clauses which most corporate risk/legal/commercial departments would not sign off on.

    3. One tenderer agrees to the unreasonable risk to profit, others drop out.

    4. The aforementioned interested part joins the consortium as a secondary party.

    5. Final RFT goes out and one bidder submits a high price then negotiates down all the risks and penalties during contract negotiations, after the bid is successful.

    Am I close?

    1. Cian

      How does step 4 work?

      Why would the last-standing company (step 3) – who is now last-man-standing and could jump to step 5 and make all the profit for themselves – allow another company join their consortium?

      These consortiums will have spent hundreds of thousands (if not millions) on the teams to support the bids.

  5. bridget lawlor

    In any business you need a tax clearance cert to do any trade with anything to do with business
    To operate a pub you need tax clearance if not no licence
    We need to know why a person with past tax issues and a track record of escaping tax on sale of his esat to vodaphone is being entertained
    Apparently the revenue is still pursuing him for taxes over esat

  6. bridget lawlor

    How can a liquidated company become renamed
    Actovo formally siteserv
    And how can a government contract be issued to a company that went bang and the taxpayer picked up the tab after assets were transferred
    Office of corporate enforcement have some questions of a very serious nature to answer

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