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NUI student on work experience employed as NBS consultant by Department (DCENR)

  • 08-02-2008 9:00pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,774 ✭✭✭

    Expert knowledge within the department is running low. A Stagiaire from NUI Galway on work experience was given a year long consultancy contract by the Department to do the following.
    "The consultant will oversee finalisation of the NBS requirements and broadband coverage maps.

    The consultant will assist in dealings with the EU DG Competition in respect of the NBS project and will facilitate development of the state aid notification.

    The consultant will oversee and facilitate the tendering process and contract development leading to the award of the NBS contract.

    The consultant will oversee rollout of services by the winning provider.

    The consultant will support the Steering Committee and Working Group in preparation and administration of documentation relevant to the NBS."
    So lets see; that's Cartography, EU Law, Contract Law, Project Management and Administration. I hope he/she is a quick learner.

    Apparently no more bodies were available to help from Comreg. (All busy doing something or other)

    Union isn't too happy it seems.

    Its all here


  • Registered Users Posts: 615 ✭✭✭rahtkennades

    Holey Mo! That's amazing!!!!

    I can only assume that this lady has extensive previous work experience in PM consultancy that isn't shown on their CV extract.

    I mean, otherwise, if the normal college route is followed, we're looking at somebody of about 24 years of age who, apart from doing a work experience placement for a few months, has no actual experience in the general work, and most specifically in consultancy.
    And the government has appointed her to run the NBS scheme?
    I want to know how you get a job like that!

    Anyway, assuming this person has a proven track record of working in this area, we're in safe hands.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,121 ✭✭✭homah_7ft

    I can hardly believe what I see.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,290 ✭✭✭damien

    I retyped the best bits:

    Sent August 20th:
    Dear Eamonn,

    The PSEU Branch Committee would like to enquire as to the process for the appointment of XX, previously employed as a Stagiaire in COmmunications (Development) Division.

    We understand that XX’s contract expired in May 2007. She is now however working once again in Communications (Development) Division, we believe as a consultant.

    In accordance with the Public Procurement Guidelines 2004;-

    * Supplies and services less than €5000 may be secured on the basis of verbal quotes from one or more competitive suppliers
    * Supplies or service contracts between €5000 to €50,000 may be awarded on the basis of responses to specifications sent to at least 3 service providers;
    * Contracts above €50,000 and up to the value of EU thresholds should be advertised as part of a formal rendering process

    The Branch Committee requests details of which of the above procurement processes were undertaken leading to XX’s appoitment, including the number of tenders sought, the experience and expertise set out in the specification, the duration of the contract in question and the remunersation attaching to the position.

    It is the understanding of the PSEU Branch Committee that the main purpose of establishing the Stagiaire Scheme throughout the Civil Service was to recruit third level students and recent graduates to recognised administrative grades in the Civil Service through short-term work experience. Re-employment of Stagiaires either as consultants or in any other atypical capacity totally undermines this fundamental intention of the Stagiaire Scheme.

    We would also reiterate the PSEU Head Office query concering the employment of a former Stagiaire immediately subsequent to the expiry of a a Stagiaire contract. Could you clarify please, on what basis can this Department award a constlancy contract to someone who has just completed work experience programme in the Department?

    The PSEU Branch Committee would appreciate an early response in this matter please.

    Yours sincerely,
    Lorraine O’Donoghue
    PSEU Branch Secretary

    Reply to a possibly annoyed HR on October 10th:
    To: Ms. Ciara Bates
    Cc: Mr. Peter O’Neill, Mr. Eamonn Molloy, Mr. Dave Hanley

    From: Ken Spratt

    Date: 10 October 2007

    Re: National Broadband Scheme Resources - XX

    1. The PSEU recently wrote to Mr. Molloy enquiring about the employment of XX on the national Broadband Scheme (NBS). The following facts may be useful on considering an appropriate reply to the PSEU.

    2. In October 2006, Minister Dempsey directed that a NBS be out in train, Given the complexities involved, Minister Dempsey felt that ComReg’s telecommunications expertise should facilitate the implementation of the NBS. The Minister decided that the NBS was the main priority for the Communications area for 2007/2008 and agreed that the Department would meet the cost of any outiside consultants required by either ComReg or the Department to deliver the NBS.

    3. On 16 October 2007 [<< wrong date here] I met with Mr. Hanley and Mr. O'Neill to discuss (i) the lack of resources in may area to handle existing priorities and (ii) the need for additional resources for the NBS (1 AP 1 AO/HEO). It was explained to me that the general shortage of resources meant that all divisions in the Department were under resources and that no further resources would be made available to me. I explained that this was disappointing, unacceptable and un-sustainable and that I would have to explore other avenues for securing the resources required to meet the demands of the section.

    4. Later in October 2006, in order to address the lack of resources I re-assigned YY (Analyst on secondment from ComReg) and XX to the new NBS. Their previous briefs were, with difficulty, re-assigned to other members of my Division.

    5. Both XX and YY have built up considerable expertise that is critical to the smooth running ot the NBS procurement project. In Decemnber 2006, I was faced with the prospect of YY returning to ComReg. Thankfully, we were able to extende her secondment to the end of 2007. This date now looming and will need to be addressed. I will contact you separately in this regard.)

    6. In April 2006, I advised Mr. O'Neill that Xx was due to finish on 23 May 2006. It was not possible to extend her Stagiaire contract. I advised Mr. O'Neill that, given the lack of a replacement resource, I would like to find some way of retaining XX. I highlighted that I intended to hire her as a consultant and that, in accordance with section 5.1 of the Public Procurement Guidelines, I wished to record that a competitive process would not be appropriate. Going to procurement would not have resulted in securing a resource with the required knowledge of the NBS. In any event, the rate negotiated with XX was excellent value for money.

    7. In summary:
    * The NBS is the key priority (multi-million € project( in my Division during 2007/2008
    * Minister Dempsey directed that the required budget for consultants required to deliver the project should be secured and that such consuultants should be engaged
    * The required resources were not available within the Department
    * A competitive process was not deemed to be appropriate
    * The Public Procurement Guidelines recognise that competitive processes are not always appropriate

    8 I would be happy to meet with you to discuss

    Ken Spratt

    No apologies here. There were guidelines but you don't have to follow them and so he didn't. The Dept of Finance suggest tendering this job on the eTenders site but that's just a suggestion, though a strong one. Ignored. 3 people should also be asked to tender for this type of job but again, just a guideline. Ignored.

    Nice to know one person on loan from ComReg and this other girl are looking after the National Broadband Scheme.

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    damien.m wrote: »
    Nice to know one person on loan from ComReg and this other girl are looking after the National Broadband Scheme.

    I thought you applied for that NBS co-ordinator job Damien, is there a court case in the offing seeing as Dempsey went to great lengths to hire someone who hadn't ( evidently still hasn't if 3 are in the running) a clue ???

    ....well apart from all of Fianna Fáil and Comreg of course :(

    The "Steve Staunton Syndrome" I think I will call it !

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,290 ✭✭✭damien

    Fugit, would you believe I forgot about that?

    My application, my rejection.

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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    damien.m wrote: »
    Fugit, would you believe I forgot about that?

    My application, my rejection.

    I would advise you that you have a personal interest in this matter so sue Dempsey :p