Tuesday, 24 November 1981
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: It is hardly necessary for me to say at the outset that I am disappointed with the reply. Can the Minister explain how, for example, he would regard the cost of the contract, the date on which it was placed and the name of the contractor? Also, were the materials used of Irish manufacture and what was to be the finishing date? Surely these matters are not ones that should be withheld from the House under any circumstances.
Mr. J. Bermingham: The installation of a closed-circuit television system is part of a general scheme of security works at Leinster House and that scheme was approved by the Leinster House authorities. Owing to the nature of the work it would be undesirable to give details for the public record and in any event it is a long-standing practice not to divulge details of tender. The work is due to be completed in a few weeks' time.
Mr. J. Bermingham: One of the questions asked by the Deputy was whether I was covering for anyone. I assure him that I am not covering for anybody, colleague or otherwise. It has been the practice not to divulge matters of security. We are talking here of a high-security business and, consequently, I am not prepared to give the details required by the Deputy. However, the information available to me is that the work will be finished in a few weeks' time. I do not have details of the date on which it was to start or of the date on which it was to finish, that is, if there ever were such dates referred to in the contract.
Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: It is unusual for the Minister of State responsible for public works not to have such information on his file. Can the Minister give the House a categorical assurance that the blueprint of the House and the plans for this work did not go outside the jurisdiction of the House either while the contract was being prepared or since?
Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: I asked whether the Minister is prepared to state categorically that the blueprint of the House and the plans for this installation work did not at any stage go outside the jurisdiction area of this House.
Mr. J. Bermingham: I have not got that information here but in contracts of this kind it is urged that as much Irish material as possible is to be used. However, this is something that is difficult to enforce.
Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: If I may be permitted one more supplementary, I should like the Minister to indicate whether my suspicions are right, that is, that the  entire handling of the placing of this contract and the matter in which it was carried out has been a disaster and of some concern for the security people of our country?
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