Government needs to explain secrecy surrounding Irish Water Contracts – Ó Domhnaill

Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has challenged the Government to be more transparent in relation to its water metering programme with Irish Water

 

Senator Ó Domhnaill raised the issue with the Environment Minister on the floor of Seanad Éireann during an adjournment debate last night (Monday 22nd July).

Senator Ó Domhnaill said; “Minister Alex White confirmed to me, in the Seanad last night on behalf of the Environment Minister that deals have been done between Irish Water and three Regional Contractors but the identity of the contractors is not being disclosed. Why is there such a lack of transparency on the floor of the Seanad on one of the largest infrastructure projects to be undertaken by this Government.”

 

“The Dáil rose last week and the Seanad rises this week which means we now face the prospect of a series of critical announcements on Irish Water being made with no scrutiny of Minister Hogan. We have now been informed that agreement has been reached with three Regional Contractors, why can’t we know whom they are or have the contracts been signed. These are extremely lucrative contacts and the public deserve to know who the contractors are.”

 

“I am also very concerned at the promised 2000 jobs the Government has said will be created through the installation of water meters.”

 

“There is a complete lack of clarity in relation to the creation of these jobs. The Government has long since claimed that water metering would be an economic stimulus for the Country and Communities around the Country through Sub-Contracting. However Minister White last night confirmed that there is no obligation on the Regional Contractors to use the Sub-Contractors who have been Pre-Approved by the Department of Environment to carry out the testing. This will come as a huge surprise to these companies and to smaller local contractors whom have been led to believe local employment would be generated in communities.”

 

“The value of secrecy that surrounds Irish Water is not acceptable. This Government promised a democratic revolution and to be transparent yet it has set up an entire new agency and deliberately excluded it from the Freedom of Information Act. It is clear that the Government has no intention of being transparent in this Area and has actually created a huge quango with no possibility of the Oireachtas being able to monitor and control its costs.”

 

Posted: Jul 23, 2013     |     Categories: Uncategorized