The HPRA from time to time awards contracts for the supply of goods and services. Our aim is to achieve value for money and to provide a quality service to the public.
When awarding contracts, the HPRA follows all public procurement rules and discharges this function honestly and fairly.
Underpinning the public procurement rules are four basic principles. These are:
- Equal Treatment: The principle of Equal Treatment requires that all suppliers be treated equally and with the utmost fairness at every stage of a contract award procedure. This means that the selection of candidates to tender, the receipt of tenders and the treatment of tenders must be carried out in a scrupulously fair manner.
- Transparency: The principle of Transparency requires that information regarding forthcoming contracts and the rules to be applied should be readily available to all interested candidates. It requires that candidates be informed of the rules that will be applied in assessing their applications for tender lists and the criteria to be used in the evaluation of tenders.
- Proportionality: The principle of Proportionality requires that the demands placed upon suppliers should be both relevant and directly related to the contract being awarded.
- Mutual Recognition: The principle of Mutual Recognition requires that the standards, specifications and qualifications in use throughout the EU should receive equal recognition, on condition that the products or services are suitable for their intended purpose.
Irish Government Contract Regulations apply all of the above principles and require that competitive tendering should be used throughout the public sector. In addition, they lay down rules in order to ensure a level playing pitch for all suppliers and to ensure that true competition takes place in the award of public contracts. Important aspects of the regulations include rules on tendering such as:
- Maintenance of tender lists
- Advertising of contracts
- Tendering timescales
- Receipt and opening of tenders
- Confidentiality of information
- Evaluation of tenders
- Debriefing of unsuccessful tenderers
For larger contracts (above the EU thresholds) the rules of the European Procurement Directives apply.
The HPRA complies fully with the requirements set out in the Department of Finance publication, An Outline of Government Contract Procedures and Public Procurements (1994) which is available from the Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. The 2004 Guidelines on conducting an appropriate competitive process under national rules and revised EU public procurement directives and other relevant guidance as published on the Office of Government Procurement website eTenders.gov.ie.
The HPRA complies fully with the requirements of the European Communities (Late Payment in Commercial Transactions) Regulations 2012.