In its glossy brochure, “Reviewing and improving our public consultation process”. one of the better satirical publications of 2014; EirGrid set out three themes as to how it needed to improve its dealings with the public.
Theme 2 was as follows:
“Theme 2: Change our Culture and Processes
We will change the culture in our organisation – to develop stronger relationships with stakeholders and communities.”
This was a welcome promise as one of the most common complaints from members of the public against EirGrid was the tendency of their employees and agents to be bullying and threatening in their manner and treatment of concerned citizens.
In addition, one of the statements that EirGrid have consistently made both in meetings and in their various statements on their website is the promise that they will not come onto private property without the consent of the owner.
It is interesting therefore that EirGrid have seen fit to publish the following Invitation to Tender:
“EirGrid has a requirement for security consultancy support services for areas of its business from time to time. Specific requirements relate to the support of its Grid Development activities.
In developing the electricity transmission grid infrastructure, EirGrid is responsible for deciding where assets, such as substations, overhead lines or underground cables, are to be placed or routed. Where applicable, EirGrid is required to secure planning or other consents and licences for these assets.
This includes associated activities such as field surveys, environmental studies etc.
During these activities EirGrid and/or its agents consult widely with all stakeholders who may be affected by the placement or routing of assets. At an operational level, EirGrid and/or its agents will require access to private land for the purposes of conducting said surveys and later for securing land for the placement of the assets. The development of the electricity infrastructure is an on- going process with numerous capital projects planned, commissioned or underway. (my emphasis)
Through its risk assessment processes EirGrid has identified potential risks relating to these activities and it is against this background that the security consultancy services are required.
EirGrid would like to establish a single supplier framework for the provision of Security Consultancy Support Services. Once this framework agreement is in place and as and when requirements arise, individual contracts will be awarded to the successful tenderer. This will be done by EirGrid and the successful tenderer discussing a detailed Scope of Requirements and agreeing on a best estimated price based on the day rates agreed under framework. A Purchase Order for same will then be provided by EirGrid.
The contract will be awarded for a period of three years with an option for EirGrid to extend up to an additional 12 months, subject always to the satisfactory performance of the successful Tenderer.”
This is another hidden cost that must be included in a full cost-benefit analysis of Grid25.
Perhaps EirGrid has been taking lessons from Irish Water? This is a public tender for the employment of bully-boys. The words “leopard” and “spots” come to mind.