Business Irish

Sunday 26 February 2017

Minister presses top 50 for a State digout

Tom Lyons

THE top 50 service providers to the State hauled in €400m a year, according to new findings being compiled by Minister of State for Public Sector Reform Brian Hayes.

Mr Hayes has written to or met all of the top 50 providers of services to the State -- including firms who have won contracts worth tens of millions, like Arthur Cox and PwC -- in recent weeks and asked them to compile a list of all of their taxpayer-funded contracts.

He has also asked them all to make a "one-off voluntary contribution," in the form of cash or free services to help the State out.

Mr Hayes said he expected to publish a report listing his key findings as well as the total amount of money and services received back from the top 50 within two months.

"Already we've discovered that some companies are charging different rates for the same goods or services from different state authorities," Mr Hayes said. "It is quite extraordinary."

"We've also found examples of contracts that are never put out for tender but are simply renewed year after year," he added.

Mr Hayes said he planned to move on to the next 50 service providers once he had finished his first report.

"We will then be able to access in a transparent way just how we're spending our money," he said.

He denied industry concerns that the scale of one-off contributions would help the bigger firms hold on to state contracts, causing smaller firms to lose out.

"We have made it very clear it will have no impact on either existing or future contracts," he said.

Sunday Indo Business

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