Cleaning firm challenges €5.4m contract for Galway university

Grosvenor claims NUIG committed "manifest errors" in evaluating and/or scoring the tenders of the company and the chosen bidder
Cleaning firm challenges €5.4m contract for Galway university

High Court Reporters

A cleaning company has brought a legal challenge to the awarding of a cleaning contract – worth up €5.4 million over four years – for the University of Galway.

The Grosvenor Cleaning Services Unlimited Co, of Sandyford Industrial Estate, Dublin, claims the university failed to comply with procurement regulations in awarding the contract to clean the college as well as its campus at the Shannon College of Hotel Management, Co Clare.

Grosvenor currently holds the cleaning contract for the university.

On Monday, the case was admitted to the High Court's fast track commercial division by Mr Justice Denis McDonald on the application of the university and on consent between the parties.

The court heard the contract is worth €5.4 million over four years.

Scoring system

In its statement of grounds, Grosvenor claims the university committed "manifest errors" in evaluating and/or scoring the tenders of the company and the chosen bidder. Grosvenor scored 952.8 out of 1,000 marks compared to 960.75 for the winning bidder.

The company says the university failed to inform it of the reasons, or give adequate reasons, for the rejection of its tender or to explain the characteristics and relative advantages of the selected tender.

This was in breach of a number of principles of the procurement regulations, including transparency, equal treatment and objectivity, it says.

It also says the university failed to take account of certain relevant considerations and took into account certain irrelevant considerations in the evaluation and/or scoring of tenders.

It seeks orders setting aside and/or permanently suspending the awarding of the contract to the winning bidder as well as the commencement of a new tender process.

It also seeks a declaration that the decision to award the contract was unlawful, outside powers and invalid/of no legal effect.

In the event that the new contract has been entered into with the winning bidder, it also seeks and order setting it aside or a declaration it is void.

The case comes back before the Commercial Court in July.

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