No formal agreements around 70 million euros in spending for the homeless


A Dublin City Council audit found that 10% of spending by voluntary organizations involved in homeless services – worth around € 70 million – was not supported by level agreements. service (SLA).

The audit, published by the Department of Housing, describes how an expenditure of 199.6 million euros was incurred by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) in providing services to the homeless last year.

A total of 156.7 million euros – or 79% of 2020 spending – was committed by voluntary organizations and private emergency accommodation providers, but according to the report: “Audit procedures indicated that 10% of voluntary organizations spending of € 70 million was not supported by SLAs. The other private emergency providers with spending of € 86.7 million had either a contract, lease, CEO decree and / or rolling agreement in place, but no SLA. I am aware that SLAs are currently in place for all supplier services. “

In his response, Dublin City Director General Owen Keegan said in April this year that the DRHE leadership team had started working with a consultant to “reframe the National Quality Standards Framework (NQSF) processes. ) and SLAs to meet the needs of private emergency accommodation operators (PEA) “.

He said the new service level agreements “will be put in place with immediate effect for all private emergency accommodation operators. The process to ensure that all SLAs are in place and reviewed if necessary will be strengthened by the management team of the DRHE “.

Competitive procurement procedures

The audit also examined issues related to competitive procurement procedures with respect to the selection and subsequent appointment of all sampled direct private homeless service providers working on behalf of the DRHE, and which were cost a total of 86.7 million euros last year.

Dublin City Council has now engaged KPMG to resolve the procurement issue.

According to Owen Keegan in his response, the “rental / renovation / management process” had succeeded in providing additional capacity at a time when little was available.

“The extent of the lack of emergency accommodation in 2018 was demonstrated when the DRHE had emergency accommodation for up to 740 families who hosted themselves in hotels, paid for at the full commercial rate by night, in the greater Dublin area, “he said. .

In some extreme cases, large families slept in Garda stations during this time. An additional 30/40 single people could not get emergency accommodation each night, which was confirmed by the nightly distribution of 30/40 sleeping bags to people sleeping rough.

He said the outbreak of Covid-19 has exacerbated the need for emergency accommodation and raised several additional challenges regarding social distancing at existing gathering places, but the response coordinated, with the HSE and others, has succeeded in limiting the spread of the disease.

Last March, the DRHE hired KPMG to conduct a “market analysis exercise with current and potential providers of emergency accommodation services and to describe to the DRHE the options available to them to obtain accommodation. emergency while fully respecting public procurement directives, ”he said.

Mr Keegan said the KPMG report identifies the pros and cons of three options the DRHE could use to find emergency housing, in particular; Improve the current system of expressions of interest; Single-supplier framework to replace the current system and ensure the establishment of a more formal process in line with national and European procurement rules; and a multi-supplier framework to replace the current system and ensure the establishment of a more formal process in line with national and European procurement rules.

He said the DRHE then hired Grenville Consultants in June 2021 to help develop a new sourcing strategy “that will address current weaknesses in working with private management companies and give us a framework to draw upon. future, and above all will allow us to act in an emergency. situations to avoid deaths in the street ”.

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