A contract worth €11.5 million was advertised seeking accommodation for 'persons seeking international protection' in four Midlands counties including Laois.
Tenders were invited for the contract in March by the Office of Government Procurement. The agency said at the time it could take in up to seven different accommodation providers across Laois, Offaly, Westmeath and Longford.
The tender documents referred to this as a ‘multi-supplier framework agreement for the provision of premises within the Midlands region including the provision of management, catering, housekeeping, general maintenance and security services for persons seeking international protection’.
It did not define 'persons seeking international protection' as asylum seekers nor did it mention direct provision.
The duration of any contract award was for 24 months with two possible 24-month extensions.
This means that if a premises in Laois was awarded the contract it could be there for up to six years.
Included in additional information about the contract, the service summary is: “Operate a system of Independent Living which comprises of a food hall for the distribution of foodstuffs, toiletries and cleaning materials for residents’ use. There shall also be facilities available to residents to allow them to store and cook food.”
The time limit for receipt of tenders was March 15, 2019.
The Irish government has obligations to accept refugees from Syria but the nationality of those to be cared for is not referenced.