A bird's eye view of the vineyard
The Elusive Middle East Peace Tue Dec 18, 2018 16:18 | The Saker
by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog Subtle news sources coming on the grapevine allude to impending Middle East fresh peace talks. The end of the ?War on Syria? will
Skripal vs Khashoggi: Some countries are more equal than others Tue Dec 18, 2018 16:12 | The Saker
by John Freeman for The Saker Blog International politics and hypocrisy have always gone together like sewers and stink, but the contrast between the recent media and government reactions to
Syrian Army Is Set To Respond To Any Future Israeli Attacks Tue Dec 18, 2018 04:11 | Scott
Syrian War Report ? Dec. 17, 2018: Syrian Army Is Set To Respond To Any Future Israeli Attacks The Syrian Armed Forces will respond by force to any Israeli
Vesti Special Report! Incredible Year of Harvests in Russia as Country Tops World Grain Markets Mon Dec 17, 2018 21:20 | The Saker
A historical journey into Crimea Mon Dec 17, 2018 21:06 | The Saker
Washington insists sanctions will remain until Russia returns the peninsula to Ukraine, but this will never happen. For Moscow, Crimea is back to where it belongs, and this is a
The Saker >>
A Blog About Human Rights
Storms and Winter Damage To Homes Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:08 | Human Rights
Human Rights Body In Africa Must Set A Better Example Wed Nov 14, 2018 16:13 | Human Rights
112 Pro-Biafra Imo Women Arrested Sat Aug 25, 2018 16:30 | Human Rights
Traveller Community in Galway Fri Aug 03, 2018 16:28 | Human Rights
US Withdraw From UN Human Rights Council Thu Jul 19, 2018 16:32 | Human Rights
Human Rights in Ireland >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
Keep calm? nothing to see here? 18:10 Tue Dec 18, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
Border polls? 11:08 Tue Dec 18, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
SFFG 09:15 Tue Dec 18, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
That no-confidence motion? 06:37 Tue Dec 18, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
That May speech today? 13:57 Mon Dec 17, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017
IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017
Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
Dublin Opinion >>
Whitewash: Report On Broadband Is A Cover Up
crime and justice |
Wednesday November 28, 2018 23:30 by PBP - People Before Profit
The report into the activities of the former Minister, Denis Naughton, on rural broadband is a total whitewash.
Naughton held eighteen meetings, and five dinners with representatives of Granahan McCourt. Minutes of these meetings were not kept and there were often no civil servants present. Yet the company was a bidder for the lucrative broadband contract.
But aside from Naughton’s unusual behaviour, there is an even bigger scandal looming.
Rural broadband was originally supposed to cost some hundreds of millions. But the latest estimate puts that figure at a staggering €3 billion.
Once again privatisation means huge costs for Irish taxpayers.
Up to 1999, the telephone network was run by a state company, Telecom Eireann. But the Fianna Fail government decided to copy Margaret Thatcher and sell it off. Ever since then, disaster has piled on disaster.
Instead of providing long term investment to install broad band, a series of private owners simply asset stripped the company, which had been re-named Eircom.
By October 2010, for example, Ireland was ranked 29 out of 30 countries, ahead only of Mexico for broadband speed. Only a fifth of the population had access on that date.
Yet this disaster presented another opportunity for private companies to further blackmail the government.
One of the first companies to bid for contracts was Enet, a small company based in Michael Noonan’s Limerick constituency but backed by Granahan McCourt.
It won an original contract to bring broadband to 94 towns but after a meeting with Fine Gael Minister, Michael Noonan, this contract was extended without any tender being issued. The extension pushed up the value of Enet and then, lo and bold, the state controlled Irish Investment Fund bought a major stake in the company for approximately €150 million.
On one hand, a state decision to extend a contract increased the price that another arm of state paid for a share in a private firm. You could not make it up!
Then, mysteriously, the Irish Investment Fund bought the remaining share of Enet for an undisclosed sum.
Meanwhile in a move that is not unknown among multi-nationals who bid for state contracts, two other consortiums pulled out of a bid to install rural broadband.
That left behind David McCourt, the founder and chairman of McGranahan McCourt, the company from which the state’s Investment Fund had bought shares in Enet.
As the last bidder, McCourt has the state over a barrel – or more precisely he looked on as the state threw itself over that barrel.
And in a final twist of fate, McCourt quietly announced that the make-up of his own consortium had changed.
The main supplier of the physical infrastructure would now be a new company, Actavo owned by none other than Denis O Brien.
Actavo used to be known as Siteserv and faced considerable criticism over how it won contracts to install Irish water meters.
But here it is again, standing at the ready to take its slice of another lucrative state contract – after many mysterious moves.
Only in Ireland, as they say!
The report can be found at: https://www.dccae.gov.ie/documents/NBP_Procurement_Process_Audit_...8.pdf