Minister Howlin and Minister of State Harris welcome Public Procurement Spend and Tender Analysis

Issued 3 March 2015

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin T.D., and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Public Procurement, Simon Harris T.D., today launched the Office of Government Procurement’s Public Service Spend and Tendering Analysis for 2013 Report.

Public procurement is an integral part of the Government’s overall Public Service Reform agenda. The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) was established by Government to lead on the Public Procurement Reform Programme by bringing improved capability to procurement, delivery of substantial savings on goods and services expenditure, and the provision of better data to Government on procurement across the public service.

Welcoming today’s launch, and noting the Public Service’s substantial purchasing power, Minister Howlin noted:-

Spending in the region of €8.5 billion each year on goods and services, in addition to expenditure on public works, the Government is acutely aware of the significant role that SMEs play in the Irish economy.  Public procurement represents a huge opportunity for them.  This Spend and Tendering Analysis for 2013 will be an essential aid in understanding the scale of that opportunity. The OGP has a clear remit to deliver sustainable savings for the taxpayer – through centralising procurement across the public service and encouraging SMEs to fully engage in public procurement.”

Noting this Report as the first of its kind, Minister Harris stated;-

“The analysis is very encouraging –indicating that 93% of the State’s expenditure is with firms within the State, and with 2 out of every 3 euro of expenditure going to SMEs.  Prior to the establishment of the OGP, the State had no mechanism for collecting, analysing and reporting on spend data across the public service.  Now we have data on how public funds are expended on goods and services in Ireland.  Of particular interest to SMEs is the finding around accessibility by contract type.  This Report provides a solid basis for our ongoing engagement and outreach with the SME community”

To view the report please click here.

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Notes to Editor

The OGP established a dedicated Business Intelligence team in late 2013 and has now gathered considerable expenditure data from large public service bodies.  This data comprehends €3.79 billion across over 35,000 suppliers involving 3.8 million financial payments, covering approximately 63% of the estimated goods and services expenditure.  This expenditure data has been analysed and supplemented with supplier classification information by the OGP which, for the first time, enables Government to get a highly representative analysis on its procurement expenditure.

The OGP intends to produce Public Service Spend and Tendering Analysis reports annually, and data volumes, data quality and depth of analysis will improve each time.  The Public Service Spend and Tendering Analysis 2013 Report is an important first step in improving accurate analysis of, and transparency in, public procurement expenditure.

Key findings of the Public Service Spend and Tendering Analysis 2013 Report:

  • The data analysis indicates that 93% of public procurement expenditure remains within the State and that 66% of public procurement expenditure is directly with SMEs.
  • The analysis of tendering activity also indicates that government procurement is accessible by SMEs with typical published contract estimated values ranging from €500,000 to €50,000 across the categories of spend.

About the Office of Government Procurement

  • The Public Service Reform Plan, published in November 2011, sets out a comprehensive and ambitious reform programme for the Irish Public Service.
  • The OGP commenced sourcing operations in 2014 and, together with four key sectors (Defence, Education, Health and Local Government), is taking responsibility for sourcing all goods and services on behalf of the public service.  These operations will put in place contracts and framework agreements so that public bodies can buy goods and services.  In addition, the OGP has responsibility for procurement policy and procedures, sourcing systems and data analytics.
  • The Government has tasked the Public Procurement Reform Programme with delivering sustainable savings for the taxpayer, consistent implementation of policy, reduced risk for the State, and improved data provision.