Tender process for government contracts is fit for purpose

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I refer to your article in Wednesday’s newspaper (February 17), ‘Sudden end to ad agency’s action over £14m Tourist Board contract’, and wish to provide some clarification.

The court case was taken against Tourism NI by AV Browne, where it was claimed that the government procurement website had malfunctioned during a tender process.

This was simply not the case, as the eTendersNI portal has been fully functional since it was implemented on 1 April 2015.

To date the eTendersNI portal has processed over 1000 procurement opportunities and 4500 tender responses have been uploaded to the portal from suppliers.

It is also important to clarify that the system is equally accessible to users of both Apple Macs and PCs.

The inference that the case was ‘settled’ is misleading when in fact, the case was withdrawn in the High Court.

I trust this clarifies matters and reassures companies submitting tenders for government contracts that eTendersNI is fit for purpose and has been highly successful since its introduction.

Des Armstrong, Central Procurement Directorate, Department of Finance and Personnel