Minister of State for Public Procurement, Eoghan Murphy TD, has today (Monday) welcomed the signing by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, of the Concessions Directive (2014/23/EU) into Irish law – SI 203 of 2017.  This follows extensive engagement by Minister Donohoe’s Department – via the Office of Government Procurement – with the European Commission and national stakeholders.

This signing effectively establishes a new public procurement regime for large-scale complex public contracts, encompassing both services and capital works requirements.

In Ireland concessive-type contracts are mainly associated with public private partnerships (PPPs).  PPPs have been used over the past two decades to deliver major infrastructural projects such as national toll roads and the expansion of the national inter-urban roads network.

Following the signing, Minister Murphy noted that,

“At a time when Ireland is continuing to ramp up critical infrastructure investment, this new regime will assist public bodies in meeting their procurement needs. This is particularly the case where these needs can be met using contracts which generally feature an extended duration and a mix of public and private financing.  In this regard, transposing the Directive into Irish law focuses on maximising the flexibility in procurement which the Concessions Directive brings to this area of public expenditure.”



Notes to Editors

The Concessions Directive 2014/23/EU provides for a public procurement regime separate from the main regime for public contracts (Directive 2014/24/EU), and applies to concessive-type contracts with values above €5.225m where an operating risk is transferred to the tendering entity.

This Concessions regime stands apart from the standard Classic regime and provides a set of procurement rules more aligned with the distinct market realities of concessive-type contracts.

In Ireland the most analogous contract forms are the public-private partnership (PPPs) type contracts which have featured over the past two decades in delivering some major infrastructural projects.  Examples of these would include the toll road contracts nationally which have assisted in expanding the national inter-urban roads network.

Such contracts have been procured heretofore using the public contracts procurement regime.  The new Concessions Directive provides an alternative procurement methodology for public bodies seeking to put in place such concessive-type contracts.  The Directive allows for greater procurement flexibilities in terms of providing for a better match to the market and contractual dynamics of concessive contracts than reflected in the standard public procurement arrangements.