Templemore Garda College
Over 2,000 meals per day are being served at the Templemore facility, with all supplies being sourced locally .... up to now.
Thirty suppliers of the Garda Training College in Templemore will be faced with laying off workers as a result of the College authorities being forced to tender for all supplies under the controversial National Procurement Framework, The Tipperary Star can reveal
The Framework will see these small local businesses having to compete with large national companies for the right to supply all goods and services to the Garda Training College. And, Deputy Michael Lowry is blaming the intense scrutiny under which the College has been placed in recent times, by the likes of the Public Accounts Committee, for the latest move which will most certainly result in job losses across the county.
“People are livid over this and I don't blame them. We have small businesses supplying the Garda College with top class produce and services for years, without any complaint, sometimes delivering twice daily to the College. Now, they will have to compete with the large national and multinational companies who will make huge deliveries once a week - they just won't be able to compete with them. And all of this because somebody in an office in Dublin decides that this is in the best interest of everybody. This will end up costing money and jobs in the long run,” and angry Deputy Lowry said.
Deputy Michael Lowry says all the negative press has forced this dictat upon College authorities.
The Independent TD said that the accounting system at the Garda College which has come under scrutiny in recent times, amid much hype and negative publicity, has resulted in this latest dictat which is “literally taking the bread from the mouth of local businesses.”
These local businesses are also entitled to tender under the National Procurement Framework, but the process is extremely complicated, with one document alone run ning to 89 pages, according to Deputy Lowry.
“I have asked the Tipperary Enterprise Board to assist companies with the completion of their application forms, but we know that most of them will simply not be able to compete and will not be eligible to compete. The Garda College has become so vital to their businesses, some of them for over thirty years, and to have that taken away from them will certainly result in job losses. The tendering process is underway and will be completed by March,” Deputy Lowry said.
The catering section of the Garda College alone, prepares and serves 2,000 meals per day to the 600 people on campus. That amounts to 10,000 meals per week and catering has always come within budget at year end thanks to prudent housekeeping and the use of a number of local suppliers to ensure the best of quality at the most competive of prices.
“They want to take all of this away from local management now and this is very significant and alarming. The small business is being squeezed out and that is bad news for small rural businesses who are providing much needed employment in our localities. The areas to be affected by this include Templemore, Templetuohy, Borrisoleigh, Thurles, Roscrea, Nenagh, Newport and many other towns and villages. We are talking about reputable companies here, all of whom have impeccable records of excellence and the highest of standards. Historical accounting procedures should not be used as a stick to beat the present local management and as a result, local businesses, but that is what's happening. People are shooting off their mouths and jobs will now be lost as a result of this,” Deputy Lowry said.