Kerry TD calls for review of tendering criteria for building schools

Deputy Pa Daly, Sinn Féin. Photo By Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus LTD

A Kerry TD is calling for a review of the tendering criteria for building schools.

Sinn Féin TD Deputy Pa Daly says a number of qualified builders in Kerry are completely shut out of the process, due to the Department of Education guidelines.

He is calling on the Department and Minister for Education, Kerry TD Norma Foley, to urgently review the criteria.

Deputy Pa Daly says the guidelines, set out by the Department, state only companies turning a profit of more than €19m per annum for the past three years are eligible to submit tenders; he says this shuts out a number of Kerry builders.

He raised the issue to ensure local builders have the opportunity to submit tenders, particularly as the new school building for Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí in Tralee has yet to progress, even though the sod was turned in May last year.

The new school building is widely anticipated, however it’s no closer to being completed than it was last year, according to the Kerry TD.

Deputy Pa Daly called on the Department of Education to change the tendering process earlier this year, but it still remains the same. He claims he was told the pre-tender documents were not being considered due to the pandemic.

He is calling on Minister Norma Foley to intervene, now that the country is in the process of re-opening.

He says our local economy has been decimated due to COVID-19, adding local companies and workers must be afforded every possible opportunity to submit tenders for this work.