Concern are Tipperary companies are losing business.
Businesses in Tipperary are losing out because of a national procurement framework policy in place used by Tipperary County Council, it has been claimed.
Concern that local business and shop local campaigns were by-passed as a result of the framework was expressed by members of Tipperary County Council at their monthly meeting.
The debate took place after Cllr. David Doran said he had been made aware that under the framework. a Tipperary company,which had bid €10,000 less in the tender process, had lost out to a company for a fuel contract last year with Tipperary County Council.
Members suggested that more could be done by local business to familiarise themselves with the national procurement process and council members said they would like to see local business engage more in the system.
Cllr. Doran said it was unfair that local business was losing out in contracts .
“This is a slap in the face to local business owners who are paying rates to this council” he said.
Cllr. Martin Browne said it was crazy that the council could not give business to local business interests who were paying rates to the council.
“Local business owners are paying rates and are not getting anything back from this council. We need to get the system changed or else pull out of it” said Cllr.Browne.
Cllr. Siobhan Ambrose said there was little point in any local business tendering because ultimately the contract would go to the bigger companies which were very hard to compete with.
She believed that the local business owners should be invited by the council to a meeting so that the tender and procurement process could be explained to them. It was very unfair that local business was being by-passed by the system as it stood, she said.
Cllr. Eddie O Meara said he believed there were seven local authorities that were not using the central tendering system.
Cllr. Seamus Hanafin said the council should withdraw from the national procurement framework if local business interests were being by-passed.
“We should buy local and look after our own jobs” said Cllr.Hanafin.
Liam McCarthy, director, said in the instance raised by Cllr. Doran, if the county council had to establish its own tender process for that, the costs would have exceeded €10,000.
County Manager Joe MacGrath said he had to comply with the law and there was a national procurement tendering process now in place.
He told members that he would like to see more and more local companies use the procurement process.
The system used was based on the market on the basis that everybody can tender for a service in an effort to get the best price in the market. He said costs had been driven down by the collective tendering and procurement process and he wanted to see more local companies participate in the process.