Awarding Public Contracts Skilfully and Lawfully within the Procurement Rules

Tue 22 May 2018

The Conrad Hotel Earlsfort Terrace, Saint Kevin's Dublin

Answers to 21 Thorny Questions: Directly from 8 of Ireland's Most Sought-After Lawyers and 3 Industry Experts

5 hrs CPD

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  1. Registration and coffee

  2. Chairman's introduction

    Awarding public contracts skilfully and lawfully within the procurement rules

    Chaired by: Philip Lee of Philip Lee Solicitors

    Philip is Ireland's leading authority on public procurement. He "stands out for his talent in public procurement." He gives "more than legal advice, he gives sound business advice."

  3. Panellists

    Bonnie Costello, Deputy Assistant Chief State Solicitor

    Greg Power, Head of Capital Projects, Trinity College Dublin

    Sean Bresnan, Director of Sourcing, Health Service Executive

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

  4. Capability

    How do you assess competence and capability without favouring known-suppliers with experience of the contract type?

    Can bidders with sketchy experience refer to projects they carried out for other companies?

    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."

  5. Serious breach

    What is considered to be a "serious breach," in the context of damages as a remedy being available only when there is a “serious breach” of the procurement regulations?

    Answered by: Sarah Hannaford QC of Keating Chambers

    Sarah’s skill in procurement law is “brilliant and unparalleled." She defended the challenges from 100 law firms over contracts for legal aid work (one of the Lawyer magazine's most significant cases.)

  6. Morning coffee

  7. Review clauses

    Using real-life examples, when do review clauses crack the problem of varying a contract as business needs change?

    How flexible can they be; how do you get the best out of them; what will be approved by the courts?

    Answered by: Mary Dunne of Maples and Calder

    Mary is an expert adviser on procurement to the European Commission. She drafts procedures for governments seeking to do business in the EU. She is "tough, convincing and precise."

  8. FOI requests

    When facing up to FOI requests, what are the unwritten conventions on what records to release and what to withhold (at different tender stages)?

    Is it sensible to keep more or fewer records (such as taped meetings for example)?

    Answered by: Paul Lavery of McCann FitzGerald

    Paul is a "standout rising star" for FOI and disclosure problems. "His knowledge is ground-breaking." He is author of "Commercial Secrets: Breach of Confidence Actions in Ireland."

  9. Lunch

  10. Early involvement

    What are the golden rules of how not to confer an advantage through early contractor involvement, i.e. (1) pre-market testing, (2) designing tender parameters, (3) specification writing?

    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.

  11. Strike-out

    When can you lawfully strike out a bid from an incumbent (or other bidder) who has not performed twice or more?

    What counts as evidence and when is it sufficiently serious?

    What if you "know" there is a problem (but it is personal rather than public knowledge)?

    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.

  12. ESPD

    Drawing on live projects, how is the ESPD process working in practice?

    Should you limit the number of previous examples?

    What if statements made in it are fanciful?

    Answered by: Jim Deane of the Office of Government Procurement

    Jim is Head of Policy, with responsibility for the National Public Procurement Policy Framework, the overarching policy framework for public procurement in Ireland.

  13. Over-run

  14. Close of conference