Landmark ruling could save Louth jobs thanks to work of local business

A DUNDALK business man was among a group of business owners who have successfully challenged the Government on procurement legislation in the High Court.

A DUNDALK business man was among a group of business owners who have successfully challenged the Government on procurement legislation in the High Court.

The move could potentially saves tens of jobs in Louth and hundreds across the State.

Paddy McCusker, from Cusken Ltd who supply furniture and office equipment, says that could have a massive benificial effect to small and medium businesses across many diffferent sectors.

The Public Enterprise and Reform Minister had been introducing the framework which required all public bodies and services to purchase supplies from centralised contractors, rather than local businesses, over the last number of months and we reported back in April that up to 100 jobs could be lost in Tipperary as a result.

The Framework had been put in place by the department in a bid to secure better value for money from leveraging the public service’s buying power in relation to a range of goods and services that are commonly purchased across the public service.

These include the likes of stationary, office supplies, energy products, ICT consumables, paper, medical, janitor and cleaning products and services, and motor vehicles to name just a few. And, it meant that local businesses would be robbed of the cash of gilt edge customers, many of whom are supporting the likes of schools and other State bodies.

“All we were asking for was a level playing field in relation to tendering to public sector contracts. The legislation effectively meant that public bodies could only use the services of six large companies, effectively freezing out 95 per cent of SMEs who didn’t meet their criteria,” says Paddy McCusker.

“All we were asking for the ability to tender for these contracts. If this legislation wasn’t challenged it would ultimately cost numerous jobs across Louth, and even potential see local business forced to close.”

Paddy was among nine different business owener would got together to fight the mandatory National Procurement Framework, and was the only company in the North East to do so. The group were made up of business from Dublin, Cork, Tipperary, Cavan and elsewhere.

Dundalk Chamber of Commerce was “delighted” to see that a member company, Cusken Office Supplies win the landmark case.