446. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the last occasion on which services for prison building consultants were openly advertised for tender; when the current consultants' and builders' panels were last appointed; if the panels have expired; if so, from what date; if they have been renewed and opened up for competition to the industry. [1300/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I wish to draw the Deputy's attention to Parliamentary Question no 441& 442 of today's date which outlines the required details in respect of the Construction Consultancy Framework.
In December 2009, the Irish Prison Service entered into multi-operator framework agreements with 6 companies, in accordance with Article 32 of EU Directive 2004/18/EC, for a period of 3 years, with a possible extension, for a further 12 months. The Framework Agreement for Consultancy services expired in December 2013.
As it was not anticipated that there would be any major construction projects, other than Cork and Limerick commencing in the immediate future, a decision was taken not to retender for a new framework agreement. However, if requirements change, the IPS will tender for construction consultancy services in compliance with Irish and European procurement requirements and regulations.
In relation to builders’ panels, the Construction Framework panel was appointed in February 2012 for a three year term with the option to extend for a further 12 months.
A separate Small Works Framework, for projects under €250,000 was established in September 2012 for a three year term with the option to extend for a further 12 months.