Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with David McCourt at Science Foundation Ireland Event at the US Institute for Peace in Washington last March; McCourt with former Minister for Communications Denis Naughten
RTÉ News understands that a review of the procurement process for the National Broadband Plan does not find that it was undermined by contacts between former minister for communications Denis Naughten and the businessman leading the only remaining consortium bidding for the strategy…
The review by Independent Auditor Peter Smyth has been given to Minister for Communications Richard Bruton and is expected to be published within days.
It was requested by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in October after details emerged of a number of contacts between Mr Naughten and businessman David McCourt while the procurement process was continuing.
Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy said:
“Whilst the report hasn’t been made available publicly, the leaks from Government to the media suggest that this report will find that a Minister wining and dining with a bidder for a major state contract, on a number of occasions, is not cause for concern. I wonder do the other bidders in the process see it like that?
I also question why bother having a communications protocol in place if it so easily breached and apparently breached without consequence.
I’ll be interested to see if the report finds that all bidders enjoyed the same access to the Minister and Government Buildings that Mr McCourt appeared to enjoy. I seriously doubt it and in that context it is difficult to see how the review could have found that the process was as robust as possible and has not been compromised in some way.
“The requirement for a robust NBP cannot be overstated and while many people and businesses are desperate for the roll-out of such a vital service, the State must guarantee that a contract of this enormity is awarded in a manner which leaves no room for questions and is above reproach. I am not convinced that is the case here and I’d like to hear now how other bidders in the process saw things.”
Previously: Courting David
Economics lecturer at the Kemmy Business School in the University of Limerick Donal Palcic has noted the following…
Via Donal Palcic