Questions Raised Regarding the Awarding of Irish Water Metering Contract
Independent TD Catherine Murphy, speaking during the Dáil debate on the Water Services Bill raised strong concerns regarding the circumstances surrounding the awarding of the Irish Water metering contracts.
Deputy Murphy drew attention to the anomalies that appear to exist in the timeline surrounding the awarding of the contracts.
“In a PQ reply on June 12th 2013, Minister Hogan confirmed that the end of that month would be the closing date for bidders to apply to be considered for the metering contract. GMC/SIERRA, company number 530230 was one of the successful bidders yet that same company number did not come into legal existence until the 15th of July 2013. Fifteen days after the closing date for bids. How can it be that a company that did not exist when the deadline for bids closed could be awarded a contract? It would appear that GMC/SIERRA, a company with Denis O’Brien as a vested party, was somehow awarded a contract before it even existed?”
“There are questions regarding how an entity that didn’t exist could have been awarded a tax clearance certificate – such a certificate is a requirement to tender in the first place – there are questions as to why Millington, another company owned by Denis O’Brien, was able to purchase Siteserv from Anglo Irish Bank at a price of €45 million when it owed Anglo €150 million. There are also reports that €45 million was the lowest bid for Siteserv and yet it was accepted. Further questions arise as to whether Arthur Cox solicitors acted for both the purchasers and the vendors in this transaction.”
“These are all questions that have been circulating on various sites for a while now and they deserve answers. It may well be the case that everything is as it should be and in that case it is best to have the accurate information in the public domain so that people have all the relevant information when making decisions regarding Irish Water.”