The government’s announcement of the major projects which will receive funding as part of EU Pandemic Recovery Fund has been welcomed by Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell.
Ireland is set to receive €915 million from the EU fund, which will be spent on the likes of an electronic system for sharing medical records, regional work hubs and the retrofitting of state buildings.
Another major project being given consideration is a shared government data centre for state bodies.
The local Sinn Féin TD said that she is glad to see that the government took on board a number of her party’s recommendations as part of its submission to the Recovery and Resilience Fund.
“An electronic system for sharing medical records, regional work innovation hubs and a major retrofitting programme were three of our main recommendations,” said Deputy Farrell.
“There is much merit in the idea of a shared data centre for state bodies. Consideration should also be given to the improvement of data collection, analysis and review around public procurement.
“Around €12 billion a year is spent by government departments, county and city councils, and public bodies in procuring goods, services and capital works. But it remains an underdeveloped area of research.”
The Galway TD added that in the coming years, the manner in which the state spends money though procurement will attract greater scrutiny.
“Around €12 billion a year is spent on public procurement which is almost the same size as the cost of the PUP, EWSS and TWSS to date.
“The state is the largest purchaser in the economy and it is no longer enough to know how much money we are spending through procurement or where it is being spent.
“What we need to know is in what manner the money is being spent. In other words, is this money being spent in a way that helps to achieve social and environmental goals?
“We can use public spending to help tackle the problems we are facing. be they socio-economic and/or environmental. But in order to do so, we need to drastically improve our public procurement data collection, analysis and review.”