Minister Bruton Publishes Smyth Review
Publishing the report today, Communications Minister Richard Bruton said:
The government has today accepted the findings of the review of the Independent Process Auditor, Mr. Peter Smyth. In the review, the Independent Assessor said that he was satisfied that neither the former Minister nor Mr. McCourt had the opportunity to influence the conduct of the tender process in favour of Granahan McCourt or otherwise. The independent auditor also found that the decision of the former Minister to resign, thereby removing himself from the process, insulates the process from any apparent bias created by his engagement with Mr. McCourt.
In considering whether the procurement process was compromised in any way, Mr. Smyth considered whether the former Minister was:
- - Privy to any sensitive information that would have been of benefit to Granahan McCourt
- - Took any decisions within the process that benefited Granahan McCourt
- - Was in a position to influence changes in the Tender Documents
- - Was in a position to influence the evaluation of the submissions
Based on the consideration of these four elements, the Independent Assessor was satisfied that neither the former Minister Denis Naughton, nor Mr. McCourt sought to influence the conduct of the tender process in favour of Granahan McCourt or otherwise.
The expert procurement team managing the NBP procurement process in my Department has been engaged in the evaluation of the Final Tender received on the 18th of September from the remaining bidder - Granahan McCourt. This will lead to a recommendation to Government as to whether or not to appoint the Granahan McCourt led Consortium as Preferred Bidder in the National Broadband Plan State led intervention procurement process having regard to matters including the maximum subsidy required.
Since my appointment, my priority has been to bring this process to a fair and impartial conclusion as quickly as possible.
The government is committed to providing high speed to rural Ireland. When this Government came into office in 2016, 1.2m (52%) had access to high speed broadband. Today 1.7m (74%) of premises can access this service. The government is absolutely committed to reaching the 540,000 premises which will not be reached by commercial operators.
Finally, I’d just like to sincerely thank the independent assessor for carrying out this review.
The full report can be found here.