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Sunday 21 September 2014

Airport cleaning company challenges rejection of its €25m tender

Tim Healy

Published 07/04/2014 | 16:13

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A CLEANING and security services company operating at Dublin Airport has brought a legal challenge after its tender for a €25m contract to continue providing those and other services at the terminal for the next five years was rejected.

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Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday granted an application on behalf of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) to fast-track the hearing of the action brought against the authority by "OCS One Complete Solution Ltd", of Airways Industrial Estate, Dublin, over the awarding of the contract to another company.

The judge also granted an application to join as a notice party to the case the successful tenderer, Maybin Support Services (Ireland) Ltd, trading as Momentum Support, with registered offices at Textile House, Stephens Lane, Dublin.

In its proceedings, OCS claims the DAA failed to comply with various requirements of Irish and European law in its conduct of the procurement process. It wants orders including one setting aside and/or permanently suspending the DAA's decision to award the contract to Momentum Support.

OCS claims, since 2007, it had consistently performed services "to a high standard" at Dublin Airport under contract, including servicing washrooms, lounge and queue management.

In an affidavit, OCS CEO Cecil Ryan said there are only a small number of services under the new contract, such as lost property and passenger security screening,  which OCS does not currently provide to DAA.  He believed the value of the contract was some €5m annually.

The DAA had told his company the tender price from Momentum was some €1.2m lower than the ICS tender price, Mr Ryan said. He did not believe it was possible for the contract to be performed at that price on the basis of the DAA's specifications and requirements as outlined in the "request for tender" documents.

There also appeared to be a "lack of transparency" in how the tender process was conducted, he alleged.

The DAA denies any failure to comply with relevant law and contends the claims in the proceedings are "without merit".

OCS's claim that the bringing of the proceedings imposes an automatic suspension of the contract award process was among the reasons the DAA wanted the case fast-tracked, the court was told.

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