The National Procurement Service (NPS) was established by Government decision in 2009 to ensure maximum efficiency in the area of public service procurement of goods and services. The Minister of State at the Department of Finance with responsibility for the Office of Public Works holds responsibility for this area of
activity and chairs the Board of the NPS.
The main objectives of the NPS are to ensure optimum efficiency and value for money in the public procurement process. In all of its activities the NPS seeks to work in a partnership manner with public service clients to ensure maximum efficiency. Through a well-developed series of public service networks the NPS can assist clients in identifying procurement solutions to specific business needs.
The NPS is going to achieve its objectives through the following strategic activities:
The NPS aims to ensure that contracts, framework agreements and competition documents, once developed, will be available for use by the whole public service community.
Broadly speaking, the NPS is responsible for operational procurement matters, whilst the National Public Procurement Policy Unit (NPPPU) retains responsibility for procurement policy.
The NPPPU was established in June 2002 as part of the Department of Finance to (i) formulate policy, (ii) disseminate advice and best practice experience on procurement to the Irish public sector in order to improve its procurement capacity and (iii) deliver the Government's eprocurement strategy.
Since the establishment of the NPS, the Department of Finance remains responsible for the implementation of EU Directives and EU Treaty principles, with the overall objective of ensuring that Ireland’s public procurement regime is open, competitive and regulated in compliance with those Directives and principles.
The NPS works closely with the NPPPU based in the Department of Finance. Some functions of the NPPPU have transferred to the NPS, such as the responsibility for eprocurement. This has been done specifically to avoid any duplication of roles and responsibilities.