Pipe-laying contract row before court

A dispute over an alleged "confusing" and unlawful procedure adopted by Irish Water concerning the awarding of a contract to lay 10km of water pipes in Kerry has come before the High Court.

KC Civil Engineering Ltd (KCC) secured leave yesterday for a judicial review of the September 2014 decision of Irish Water rejecting KCC’s tender of €1m for the pipe-laying contract. Irish Water intends to offer the contract to the next lowest tenderer, the court heard.

The ‘County Kerry Water Conservation Project — Main Rehabilitation Works — Tralee Estates’ contract was for the installation of 10km of pipes to service 680 houses in various estates in Tralee.

Kerry County Council initially commenced a public procurement procedure for award of the contract but Irish Water later took over that procedure.

John Trainor SC, for KCC, with registered offices at Naas, Co Kildare, was granted leave by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan for judicial review of the procedure leading to Irish Water’s September 2014 decision not to proceed with awarding the contract to his client.

KCC alleges the award criterion for the contract meant it would go to the most economically advantageous tender. On July 1 2014, Irish Water wrote informing KCC it had been identified as having submitted the most economically advantageous tender and seeking the performance bond required and other documents.

On September 2 2014, KCC was notified its tender had been rejected because it had not provided the undertaking by the specified time.

KCC alleges Irish Water failed to be objective, transparent and proportionate in making decisions.

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