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Public procurement and bid-rigging: a key priority for the CCPC

  • Ireland
  • General

30-03-2017

Isolde Goggin, the chairperson of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the CCPC), has stressed that bid-rigging in public procurement is very much a key priority for the CCPC in 2017.

In statements published in February 3, Ms Goggin committed to prioritising a review of bid rigging in procurement and confirmed an ongoing investigation by the CCPC into publicly funded transport services in certain parts of Munster and Leinster. According to media reports, the investigation involves transport services for school children provided by private bus operators which, it is alleged, could be costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of euro. The services are believed to be funded out of an annual multi-million euro subvention by the State to Bus Éireann.

Ms Goggin said: “Markets work best where businesses vigorously and independently compete against each other for customers. Cartels, where businesses offering the same products or services collectively agree not to compete with one another or to fix prices, cause very significant harm to competition and consumers. Bid rigging in public procurement can be particularly harmful as it can artificially increase prices and ultimately costs taxpayers more and can reduce the quality of services the State provides. The CCPC prioritises these investigations and will take action if it finds evidence suggesting that these forms of criminal offences have taken place.”

She also confirmed that together with the Office of Government Procurement, the State’s leading procurement body, the CCPC would be exploring the potential for employing systematic screening tools for procurement processes which would assist in the detection and deterrence of bid rigging on public tenders.

For more information contact

Áine Smith
Consultant
+353 1 6441 474
ainesmith@eversheds-sutherland.ie

Disclaimer

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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