Awarding Public Contracts Skilfully and Lawfully within the Procurement Rules

Wed 24 May 2017

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel 8 Golden Ln Dublin

Answers to 17 Thorny Questions: Directly from 8 of Ireland's Most Sought After Lawyers and 3 Industry Experts


  1. Registration and coffee

  2. ​Chairman's Introduction

    Awarding public contracts skilfully and lawfully within the procurement rules

    Chaired by: Kevin Kelly of McCann Fitzgerald

    Kevin is described as "absolutely superb - the crème de la crème - with guru status for public procurement". He gives practical and highly commercial advice and brings a huge number of cases to the table.

  3. Panellists

    Bonnie Costello, Deputy Assistant Chief State Solicitor, Chief State Solicitor's Office

    Greg Power, Head of Capital Projects, Trinity College Dublin

    Sean Bresnan, Portfolio Manager, Office of Government Procurement

    Bonnie, Greg and Sean will be commenting, taking questions and inspiring practical solutions throughout the day.

  4. ​Perceptions of bias

    How do you eliminate any inference or perception of bias at the tender stage towards certain suppliers, e.g. those who (1) participated in soft-market testing or consultation or (2) are incumbents or project advisers who informed the specification or (3) have staff cross over?

    Answered by: Mary Dunne of Maples and Calder

    Mary is an expert adviser on procurement to the European Commmision and OECD. She has drafted laws and procedures for governments seeking to do business with the EU. She is "tough, convincing and precise".

  5. ​Post-award variations

    Drawing on grey area examples, how do you move your post tender negotiations into compliant post award variations?

    On a sliding scale of risk what are the do's and dont's of tender negotiations?

    Answered by: Michael Humphreys QC

    Michael is one of NI's go to public procurement silks. He is renowned for his excellent advocacy, commercial acumen and involvement in a long-list of leading cases. He is Chair of the Commercial Bar Association.

  6. Morning coffee

  7. ​Price/Quality evaluations

    When budget settlements are so tight, what is the best practice model for Price/Quality evaluation and scoring methodologies?

    Is there a creative way of going beyond conventional Price/Quality formulae?

    Should we use price:quality ratios?

    Answered by: Anna-Marie Curran of A&L Goodbody

    Anna-Marie is one of the 10 "most highly regarded" individuals globally for public procurement. She is a superb speaker and communicator. Her advice is innovative and "first-class".

  8. ​Abnormally low bids

    What is a tangible methodology for avoiding widely differing bids and determining abnormally low bids?

    Should you determine and record in advance a price level which you consider to be abnormally low?

    Answered by: Bruno Herbots of Herbots Solicitors

    Bruno worked on the development of Ireland's National Paediatric Hospital Projects. He is renowned for "his inventive procurement solutions" and for being a highly gifted public speaker.

  9. Lunch

  10. Subjective criteria

    How do you describe what you are looking for with more subjective criteria without giving the answer to suppliers, e.g. (1) "functionality" or "ease of use", (2) innovative method statements and programmes of work or (3) demonstrations and interviews?

    Answered by: Jenny Mellerick of McCann Fitzgerald

    Jenny is "great at making a call on the grey areas of procurement law". She is "smart and savvy" and involved in the re-development of both the Aviva Stadium and the Mater Hospital.

  11. Past performance

    What is the key to an objective and legally robust assessment of a bidder's past performance?

    How much weight do you give it, especially if the bidder is a start-up, a phoenix company or new to the market?

    Answered by: Joseph Dalby SC

    Joeseph is author of "Challenging Times – Remedies in Public Procurement". Recent work includes disclosure, scope of the Directive and ineffectiveness. He practices out of Dublin and London.

  12. ​Social Value

    How do you create a golden opportunity to introduce social value into your contracts?

    How do you evaluate and measure it?

    How do you enforce it if the bidder doesn’t carry through?

    Answered by: Aaron Boyle of Arthur Cox

    Aaron advised on eight of the last nine PPPs to financial close in Ireland. Other projects include the HSE's capital programme, service concessions for DAA and Irish Rail and Vodafone's joint venture with the ESB.

  13. Overrun

  14. Close of conference

** All speaker quotes are taken from Chambers Directory, Who's Who Legal and Legal 500