Procurement

Department of Foreign Affairs - Public Procurement Opportunities for Suppliers

Procurement Policy

The Department of Foreign Affairs is fully committed to the principles of fairness, transparency and accountability in public procurement as well as to securing value for money for the taxpayer.  Competitive tendering is standard procedure for all purchases, and is carried out in strict compliance with all applicable national and EU procurement rules. 

Cuireann an Roinn fáilte roimh ghnó trí Ghaeilge, agus ghlacfar le tairiscintí as Ghaeilge.  

How we Purchase

Procurement is decentralised to budget holders and to missions, subject to general oversight by the Department’s Corporate Services Division which includes a dedicated Procurement Management Unit.

All purchasing of goods and services must be on foot of a competitive process, save in certain limited exceptional circumstances. The following are the tendering methods used having regard to the estimated value of the contract:

  • Less than €5,000: Quotes are sought from a minimum of three competitive suppliers and the most suitable or lowest price quote is accepted.
  • Between €5,000 and €25,000: Specifications are circulated to at least three providers by e-mail/fax seeking written quotes. (In some cases it may be appropriate to advertise contracts of this value on the e-tenders website.)  Offers are evaluated objectively against the specified requirements and the most suitable offer is selected.
  • ICT Purchases over €10,000: All ICT hardware/software purchases exceeding €10,000 in value are advertised on the e-tenders website.
  • Between €25,000 and €125,000: The normal procedure for purchases in this range is to have an advertised tender process using the e-tenders website.
  • Over €125,000:  A formal tender process is carried out whereby tenders are advertised in e-tenders and in the Official Journal of the European Union and contracts are awarded in accordance with the requirements of Directive 2004/18/EC as transposed into Irish law by European Communities (Award of Public Authorities’ Contracts) 2006 (S.I. 329 of 2006).   

Supporting SMEs

The Department is committed to facilitating the increased participation of SMEs in the tendering process for business opportunities.   This is aided by the advertising of contracts in the range €25,000 to €125,000.  For more information, read the Department of Finance Circular 10/10: Facilitating SME Participation in Public Procurement & Guidance for Public Contracting Authorities on the e-tenders General Procurement Guidance page.

How to Access Opportunities

It is the Department’s policy to use the e-tenders website (www.etenders.gov.ie) for all formal advertised tendering. Suppliers/service providers who are interested in monitoring potential business opportunities should register on the e-tenders database so that they may be alerted whenever a tender of interest to their area of activity is published. In many cases the Department now advertises exclusively on e-tenders without any newspaper advertising. Registration on the e-tenders suppliers' database is free of charge. 

Details of the Department's current and past tenders may be viewed free of charge on the e-tenders website. It is also the Department's policy to make use of the question and answer and electronic postbox facilities available on the e-tenders website.

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