The Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with responsibility for Public Procurement and eGovernment, Ossian Smyth, TD, congratulated the Office of Government Procurement and the Department of Social Protection on their joint win at the National Procurement Awards last week (Thursday, the 18th of November).
The importance of public procurement to society was highlighted as the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) in collaboration with the Department of Social Protection won an award for supporting an EU funded food programme. Their joint entry won ‘Best External Collaboration Procurement Project of the Year’ at the National Procurement Awards 2021 in Clontarf Castle on the 18th of November 2021.
The winning submission outlined how the OGP and the Department of Social Protection worked together to source a business that would manage the charities required to run a major EU food programme. The EU initiative is called ‘The Fund of European Aid to the Most Deprived’, (FEAD).
The primary objective of this project is to assist the most deprived in Irish communities by providing food, distributed by the Department of Social Protection’s pre-approved charitable organisations. Extensive collaboration was carried out between Departments to avoid a gap in service, which ultimately would have meant that food was not available to those who needed it most.
The Department of Social Protection, in conjunction with the OGP, successfully awarded a contract to a not-for-profit Irish SME in June 2021, Food Cloud. This SME will be responsible for food procurement, food storage and preparation for collection by approved charities nationwide.
Minister of State with responsibility for public procurement, Ossian Smyth,TD, welcomed the good news, saying:
"I was very happy to see this collaborative effort between my Department and the Department of Social Protection highlighted at the National Procurement Awards.
“This vital service ensures the supply and delivery of food for those in need, which is especially important at this time of year. The diligence and professionalism of those working on this procurement process deserves to be highlighted and I’m encouraged to see the teams get recognition at the national procurement awards.”
CEO of the OGP Paul Quinn said:
“The OGP is delighted to be involved in such an important project that demonstrates the positive power of both interdepartmental collaboration and public procurement to the wider society.
“In terms of working together, this project really shows how collaboration between the OGP and other Government Departments and agencies is key to our success. This initiative benefits the most deprived in our society. Because of our joint efforts, this vital service will provide food to around 200,000 people.
“We are very proud and honoured to accept this award and we look forward to working on public procurement projects with similar social considerations into the future.”
Notes for Editors:
FoodCloud is the partner organisation used to deliver the food element of the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived (FEAD) in Ireland.
FEAD is an EU-wide programme to help people take their first steps out of poverty and social exclusion. FEAD is funded by the EU and the Irish Exchequer.
FoodCloud is responsible for the food procurement, food storage and preparation for collection by approved charities.