Since the start of 2020, UCD have put out over €3.5 million worth of tenders, excluding VAT. In reality this figure is higher, but due to the nature of certain tenders, the contractual value is not public information.
As recently as April 7th, UCD put out a tender for €300,000 (excluding VAT) for the “design, implementation and roll out of an online programme management system” for the Smurfit Executive Development Programme, a contract which would last 4 years.
On March 20th, UCD put out one of their larger tenders, worth €2 million (excluding VAT) for the repair, upkeep and maintenance of buildings of some 320,000 square metres of floor space. “Maintaining and operating UCD building services in a safe, efficient and environmentally responsible manner is a key goal of UCD [who] utilises the ISO 5001 energy management system […] to manage energy and water consumption,” states the tender.
Earlier in the year, UCD had put out a tender for new furniture in UCD’s on-campus accommodation. Speaking to the College Tribune, UCD’s Director of Procurement & Buying Turlough Kieran commented that “there is an initial requirement for some of the furniture covered in early summer to replace furniture which may have been damaged or through wear needs replacing.” This particular contract is valued at €350,000, excluding VAT obligations.
Other notable contracts put out for tender by UCD were the provision of a “full suite of retail services for […] pop up food units, grocery and ancillary retail” spaces for the new residences being built beside Merville (value not available), an €85,000 (excluding VAT) contract for an Augmented Reality Interactive Educational System for the School of Computer Science and a tender worth €766,893 (excluding VAT) for an IT service for business systems, which is to last 3 years, to help “meet any growth in services required by the University.”
Tenders in late 2019 included the provision of new cafes in pre-established locations on campus and the update of the payment systems for the washing machines in student accomodations, to facilitate online and mobile payments.
Naturally, the competitive nature of tenders implies that UCD will likely pay less than the amounts tendered for. Whilst UCD faces criticism for spending exorbitant amounts on what many perceive as frivolous projects, their efforts to maintain the facilities students avail of daily is much less discussed on campus.
Alex Lohier – Deputy Editor