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Procurement opportunities

Irish Aid uses the public procurement process to engage the services of specialist service providers when specialised knowledge or skills are not available within the Department.

We also use the process when we need independent audits, monitoring or evaluation for certain projects.

The skills we seek

  • audit and evaluation
  • public health including HIV and AIDS and other communicable diseases
  • governance and democracy
  • private sector development
  • development economics
  • public financial management
  • humanitarian emergencies
  • environment
  • agriculture and rural livelihoods
  • education

Procurement regulations

As a Government Department, we must comply with public procurement rules. These regulate the awarding of public contracts for the purchase of goods, services or works.

Revised EU Thresholds with effect from 1 January 2024

The regulations amending the EU thresholds for the Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU, 2014/25/EU, 2009/81/EC have now been published by the EU Commission.

The revised thresholds (exclusive of VAT) above which advertising of contracts in the Official Journal of the EU is obligatory, are applicable from 1 January 2024.

Public procurement process

National thresholds – up to €143,000

Less than €5,000

Supplies or services (including professional services) for less than €5,000 are bought on the basis of verbal and email quotes from one or more competitive suppliers.

Between €5,000 and €50,000

Services contracts worth between €5,000 and €50,000 are awarded according to responses to requirements/specifications sent by email to at least three service providers.

Over €50,000

For all tenders worth more than €50,000, tender notices are published on e-tenders, giving electronic access to all Irish public sector procurement opportunities.

EU thresholds – more than €143,000

In these cases, an invitation to tender must be published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) as well as on e-tenders.

How we evaluate and award contracts

Tenders are evaluated by independent committees made up of Irish Aid staff with the technical knowledge relevant to the services required.

We award contracts on the basis of the ‘most economically advantageous tender’. We use this method because technical quality is vital for all consultancy engagements.

Along with price, factors such as methodology, the consultants’ experience and expertise and technical merit are taken into account.

Consensus among the independent evaluation team is necessary before awarding the contract. After evaluation, the contract goes to the tender that is the least expensive and classified as ‘most technically compliant’.

How we ensure accountability

Procurement practices are subject to strict accountability.

They are open to audit and scrutiny by both internal audit and the Comptroller and Auditor General. Accounting Officers are publicly accountable for compliance with all relevant EU and national regulations.

Irish Aid contracts are also subject to scrutiny through Parliamentary Questions and Freedom of Information requests.


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