Council to adopt new tenders procedure
WICKLOW County Council is to adopt a new process for the opening of tenders.
While elected members are entitled to be present at the opening of a tender, some local authorities do not require a public representative to attend as e-tenders cannot be opened before the closing date.
The September meeting of Wicklow County Council heard that an elected representative would still be required at the opening of hardcopy tender documents. The process would be changed to remove the requirement in relation to e-tenders as staff cannot open them before the closing date.
Cllr Joe Behan (Ind) said that altering the protocol could set a ‘very bad precedent to go down the road of not having an elected member present, no matter whether it’s electronic or physical.’ He said that the practice of elected members signing the cover sheet should continue.
Cllr Gail Dunne (FF) suggested that to avoid a ‘scrabble to find councillors’, tenders could be opened on Mondays, when elected members tended to be in Council buildings.
Cathaoirleach Irene Winters (FG) called for a show of hands. Cllr Aoife Flynn-Kennedy (FG) proposed the motion to change the process for the opening of tenders. This was seconded by Cllr Anne Ferris (Labour).
Cllr Behan proposed the dissenting motion that the existing process should remain. The motion was seconded by Cllr John Snell (Ind).
A vote was taken on both motions at the same time with members indicating whether they wished the existing process to be changed or to remain. 20 members voted in favour of the change, nine members voted to retain the existing process, one abstained and one member was not present. The motion to change the Council’s tender process was passed.