A row over the procurement procedures of Mayo County Council got personal last Thursday when Cllr Frank Durcan and Mayo County Council Procurement Officer John Maughan became embroiled in a venomous exchange of words.
Cllr Durcan was on his feet for over 20 minutes demanding an answer to his question on whether Mayo County Council tendered for work their own staff and machinery conducted.
In a heated row over the tendering process, particularly with regard to tendering for plant hire and machinery, Cllr Durcan accused Mr Maughan of putting plant hire operators in Mayo out of work and refused to sit down until his question was answered.
“I’m asking a question and I want an answer and I want it now and I’m not sitting down until I get it,” he bellowed at Mayor Eugene McCormack.
Eventually Mr Maughan was allowed by the Mayor to respond after Cllr Durcan refused to sit down.
He was interrupted on two occasions by Cllr Durcan before Mr Maughan stated: ‘Let me answer it, have a bit of respect’.
“Don’t talk to me about respect Mr Maughan because I know your form and I told you in my office what I think of you,” roared Cllr Durcan.
“And I told you in your office what you were,” responded Mr Maughan.
“You’re not going to put the plant hire operators of this county where you put the Mayo team,” retorted Cllr Durcan.
Cllr McCormack ruled Cllr Durcan out of order while other councillors shouted for him to desist.
Mr Maughan said that he was obliged to judge each tender application on its own merits, even if he would prefer to see local operators awarded the contract.
“John Maughan or anyone in the Procurement section has no control over what prices come in, it is an open competition and market. You have come in here Cllr Durcan and suggested to me that John Maughan is putting people out of business, I totally refute that,” said Mr Maughan.
“Are you suggesting that we would leave plant we own in the machinery yard and go with another operator and leave our operator idling, sitting in the machine and go out and engage with a supplier? I don’t think that’s reasonable,” he added.
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