Council purchasing challenged

A Bundoran Town Councillor has challenged the council over its purchasing.

A Bundoran Town Councillor has challenged the council over its purchasing.

Independent Cllr Florence Doherty was commenting on news that the auditors had raised two concerns about the Financial Statements for 2011.

The auditors highlighted what they called a “deviation from purchasing and tendering discipline”. This referred to invoices for goods and services having been received for council purchases before purchase orders had been raised for them, in 51% of cases.

The auditors also noted that there was “no evidence” of legal services having gone to tender.

Cllr Doherty commented: “I’m not happy with this, I don’t think it’s right that proper procedures aren’t being followed in more than half of our purchases.

“I also don’t think it’s right that we’re not tendering for our legal services. How do we know whether we’re getting the best service for the best value if we don’t put the contract out to tender?”

Town Manager Garry Martin said the purchasing issue was one that had been raised with councils across the county and the country and was being dealt with.

He also explained that Bundoran Town Council, like Donegal County Council, traditionally has an arrangement with the state’s solicitors office.

“They have built up a great deal of specialist expertise over the years and it is for this reason that they are retained.”