Breaking His Own Rules


From top: Minister for Communications Denis Naughten; broadband consortium bid leader David McCourt; a document containing communication protocols between bidders and the Department of Communications

This morning.

Via The Times Ireland Edition:

A copy of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) communication protocol obtained by The Times has prompted accusations that the exchange between Mr Naughten, his officials and Mr McCourt contravened rules set down to protect the integrity of the procurement process in areas relating to the handling of bidder queries and officials’ permission to discuss the plan.

The internal department protocol said all queries from qualified bidders must be made through the eTenders procurement website and all responses must be made through the same system.

Minutes of the dinner released last week showed that Mr McCourt raised issues relating to the bid’s leadership team, the importance of meeting an impending deadline, the need for the bid team to have finalised its financing arrangements, and its internal decision-making process.

Denis Naughten ‘broke rules over dinner with bidder’ (Peter Dwyer, Times Ireland Edition)


Previously: McCourt In The Act

15 thoughts on “Breaking His Own Rules

  1. Jonickal

    I would never have seen this coming. Minister from a constituency favours their constituency with delivery of stuff.

  2. Ronan

    I work on public tenders from time to time, and wining and dining the award authority is grounds for disqualification in most cases. It also leaves the tender award open to legal action.

    While there’s no competitive bidding, and so there will be no loser in the process, anyone can raise concerns with the relevant EU body on the process.

    I’m not one for the willy nilly chopping of ministers, but this is actually a resigning offence in my book – he has compromised the process for delivering a long overdue strategic infrastructure process, one he’s clearly had as a primary focus for the last number of years.

    There’s enough grounds for a resignation without even considering underhand stuff that may or may not have gone on. If I meet department personnel before a tender, you can be sure there’s someone from the office of government procurement there. If the tender process is live, the only communication is through the eTenders platform.

    1. Joe cool

      Ask the honest question. Why is there no competition? was something done to hinder the competition?

      1. Cian

        At a guess the risks are too high.
        It would cost a small fortune to effectively assess the whole plan. Rollout of broadband to 500,000 houses. There are so many unknowns (i.e. risks) that what business would be willing to sign-off on a fixed price deal? Putting together a team to write a bid would cost hundreds of thousands.

        1. Hansel

          Of the RFQs that don’t get replies from me:

          Some have no intention of considering our price, and are using it against their chosen/incumbent supplier (our competitors) in an effort to bring the price down.
          Some badger us for design detail with the aim of passing that info to their chosen/incumbent supplier (our competitors) in an effort to help them.
          Some have no proper budget and are trying to use our proposal to put together their project scope, which will later be put out to tender.
          Some have no idea what they’re doing and are asking for unrealistic or badly defined requirements (“a rocket to the sun” ).

          In all cases I guess it just comes down to “they’re wasting our time and costing us money”.

      2. Jonner

        possible setting the prequalification criteria above what any other consortium could offer, effectively making it a one horse race.

        they need to start again!

    1. millie st murderlark

      Someone put their hand on his bum as they were taking the pic and shocked the smile out of him.

  3. martco

    Pat Kenny had this David McCourt on dinnytalk this morning for another of his “challenging interviews” aka paid for advertising radio slot. amazing stuff.

    puke radio at its finest

  4. Vanessa Foran

    I know I said on the Telly a while back that Minister Naugton’s taking a call from a PR guy enquirying about the Competition Authority was a nothing story

    But this one is
    This is most definitely a resigning matter
    The tender has been completely exposed to Conflict and the process rules denied

    Additionally, if this tender isn’t scrapped and relaunched under a new e-tender case file/ management number then the whole e-tender process and facility has been put at risk.

    Minister Naughton is not stupid, but his behavior is probably typical of a career long politician, and not of someone who has worked in the private sector or in any regulated and under strict compliance environment.

    Jobs for the boys I suppose describes it well

  5. Fergus the Magic Postman

    Jobs for the boys indeed. It’s the one thing you can absolutely count on from his former party.

    1. Vanessa Foran

      That could be said about any elected TD, whether the follow a Party Whip, form a Technical Group, tie themselves into an Aliance
      even regardless of rank

      Someone of theirs is always getting a looking ahead of anyone else

  6. Truth in the News

    What this is, a repeat of what went on with Irish Water in the water meters issue and rather oddly
    there is a common corporate connection, what is more surprising is Dennis the Minister got
    directly involved, is it not about time that both he and his Dept evaluated the performance of Enet
    managing the MAN networks….there is also a legacy issue relating Esat and all the fiber they laid
    on CIE property …….how much of the fiber capacity is lit or even used….?

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