328. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the improvement works due to be carried out at the Towers direct provision centre in advance of the new contract being signed (details supplied). [30495/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): My Department, through the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), has commenced a national procurement programme for accommodation centres for persons entering the state and seeking international protection. This will comprise a series of regional competitions through the Government's procurement website www.etenders.gov.ie .
The Department ran a tender competition for premises within 40km of Newbridge, Co. Kildare for accommodation and ancillary services. Successful bidders were required to undertake mobilisation works to provide for residents cooking facilities, a foodhall (where residents can obtain ingredients and food items as well as toiletries and household items through a points system) and designated living space for families outside of the bedrooms. There is a 12 week provision for the completion of the required mobilisation works. No contract will be in effect until the mobilisation works are completed and subsequently inspected and verified as complete by RIA.
The provider who is currently providing accommodation and ancillary services at the Towers Centre in Clondalkin, Dublin 22 was successful in being placed on the framework. The 12 week mobilisation period commenced on the 11th April 2019 which required all works to be complete by the 4th July 2019. My Department has been informed recently that due to logistical reasons, the contractor was unable to commence mobilisation works. Following discussions, the contractor has agreed to commence these works and the current contract has been extended to allow this to happen.