53% of Donegal County Council purchases breach purchasing procedures

Donegal County Council is preparing to tender for legal services after the issue was highlighted by the auditor who examined the authority's accounts for last year.

No major problems were uncovered, but a number of issues of concern were raised by the auditor.

According to the audit, retrospective approval was received for approximately 21,000 purchase requests after the goods and services had already been received. That, the report says represents 53% of all purchase and breaches purchasing procedures.

In most instances, the audit concludes, tendering procedures were appropriate. However, one area where questions have been raised is that of legal services, which apart from some roads projects and other limited instances, have not been tendered for.

Responding, County Manager Seamus Neeley said in terms of goods and services, the implementation of central invoice management is imminent, and once applied, it will drive down the level of retrospective approvals.

On the issue of legal fees he says considerable scoping work has been done in preparation for early tendering, with the council mindful of the need to strike a balance between unit cost and value for money.

He says the work is nearing completion, and he expects tendering to begin within the next number of weeks