Council spot checks ‘a must’

A councillor has called for “more spot checks and transparency” on works completed by contractors on behalf of Cork County Council.

Midleton-based Cllr Danielle Twomey has claimed, in some cases, contractors received payment from the local authority without completing the project.

She further claimed the council had paid out on some tenders — without works being undertaken.

The matter was raised at a meeting in County Hall.

Council officials present indicated they would undertake to investigate Ms Twomey’s complaints.

The officials did not comment on the claims.

The councillor said she had received a number of complaints.

She said the complaints related to tenders involving council-owned properties.

Cllr Twomey said some contractors received payment “some weeks” before works were completed.

“The whole area of awarding tenders to contractors to do work on behalf of the council, in my opinion, needs much more observation than what is being afforded at the moment,” she told colleagues.

“Since joining the council, I have been dealing with cases where I get the clear indication that the contractors — following the awarding of a job — seem to be left to their own devices as to when, and how, they should complete the works.”

Cllr Twomey repeated, in her opinion, it was an unsatisfactory way for the council to carry out its responsibilities when it came to dealing with public money.

“Following my queries to the various departments in the council, I get the clear impression that when a contract is given the council then considers their part in the process finished. This cannot be right.”

The councillor, co-opted after Pat Buckley won a Dáil seat in February, inquired as to whose responsibility it was to check work undertaken was completed to a satisfactory standard.

“I have been dealing with people where stopgap fixes were carried out but with no sign of the contractor coming back to do the job which would be needed to prevent the same problem arising again, like a leak.”

She claimed, in one case, a tenant was left with a leaking roof which was patched up but nearly a year on not properly repaired.

“I am asking the council to deal with contractors in the same fashion as any private householder would deal with them: “pay the agreed price when the job is done”.

“Surely this would be the common sense way of ensuring needed work is carried out in a complete, up-to-standard way,” Ms Twomey said.


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