Public contracts worth €12bn

Only one in 10 SMEs apply for public sector contracts in what is a very lucrative €12bn market.
The figures for 2013 show that the biggest single contract was for €30m, awarded to Airfield Pavement Construction by the Dublin Airport Authority.

The HSE awards most public sector contracts,closely followed by the Office of Public Works and Cork County Council.

Some 25% of all tenders fell into just five categories: Construction; ICT/technology; training and education; consultancy and recreational; and cultural/sporting services.

The construction-related services accounted for 13% of all public sector contracts.

“It is clear to see from the data that, despite fall off in the sector in recent years, the construction industry in Ireland still has a lot of opportunities when it comes to the public sector,” said Tony Corrigan, chief executive of TenderScout, a consultancy that helps SMEs through the tendering process.

Companies which won the most tenders last year included Eircom, UPS Communications. PWC, RPS Group, Micromail, Roadstone Wood, Deloitte, EY, Hibernia Evros Technology Group, and Coady Partnership Architects, Mr Corrigan said.

Many of these firms have had considerable success in tendering down the years, with RPS securing more than 100, Deloitte over 90 and Eircom 80 since 2003, he added.

Irish companies have a poor track record of applying for public sector contracts throughout the EU. Only 250 domestic firms have applied for public contracts across the region.