'No tender process' for majority of the Council's €546,000 spend on legal fees last year

Council found to be 'non-compliant' with procurement regulations

Darren Hassett


Darren Hassett



Carlow Carlow Carlow

File photo

There was "no tender process" for the majority of Carlow County Council's €546,000 spend on legal fees last year, a report by Carlow's Audit Committee for 2018 has found. 

Chair of the Audit Committee for Carlow, Peter Scully, presented the report to local representatives at the December meeting of Carlow County Council.

The report found instances of non-compliance with procurement regulations and weaknesses in procurement procedures that were highlighted in the 2017 audit report but "limited or no progress has been made for 2018". 

There was "no tender proccess" undertaken for the majority of the Council's legal fees expenditure in 2018.

The bill for such services last year came to €546,000 - which is significantly less when compared to a spend of €938,000 the year before. 

The report added: "There is an [Office of Government Procurement] framework agreement in place for legal services which the Council is not currently using for existing business."

In response, the chief executive of the Council, Kathleen Holohan, said: "The Council has a very strong value for money ethos which is driven by management and the Council's Audit Committee. 

"The Council is satisfied that value for money is being achieved under the current procurement arrangements. 

"The Council acknowledges that improvements are required in certain business processes and that policies need to be updated.

"The Council has applied to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government for sanction to employ a procurement specialist."