CIS Blog

28/07/2014 - Over 500 New Retail Planning Applications

According to data produced by the CIS Research Department there have been over 560 planning applications within the shops and retail sector so far during 2014 - a further 387 projects have been granted approval too.

Within the Republic of Ireland the greater Dublin area dominates with the balance of projects equally distributed amongst the other regions.  The combined 6 counties of Northern Ireland represente the largest single region for applications within this sector.

The data analysed includes projects of both a large and small nature incorporating change of use, small and large extensions as well as applications for large commercial developments.

Regional breakdown

Retail Sector

 Full details on all projects are available to subscribers - to trial the CIS Service click here


16/07/2014 - Enterprise Ireland Meet the Buyer Event

Meet the Buyer Event: DIT Grangegorman Development - Supply Chain Opportunities, 13th August 2014 

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Do you want to become a supplier on the DIT Grangegorman Campus Development Project?

Enterprise Ireland in partnership with the National Development Finance Agency will host a free “Meet the Buyer” event to provide information on supply chain opportunities on the DIT Grangegorman East & Central Quad developments.

Full Details of DIT Grangegorman Campus development project including information on the shortlisted contractors can be found on website National Development Finance Agency - Tender Competitions - DIT Campus at Grangegorman.

Date: Wednesday 13th August 2014
Time: 09:15 - 14:00. Registration will open at 09:15 
Venue: City West Suite, City West Hotel, Saggart, Co. Dublin


Attendees will

  • learn about the campus development at DIT Grangegorman
  • find out how to become a sub supplier to the projects
  • have speed meetings with the 3 short listed consortia contractors/facilities management providers tendering for the projects
  • receive information on employer support programmes and credit insurance & financing
  • have the opportunity to meet with fellow attendees at the networking hub 

Who you will meet

Consortia BAM Eriugena Group Kajima Infrared
Equity Provider


Macquarie Capital Group Ltd

Kajima Partnerships Ltd

Infrared Capital Partners Ltd


BAM Building Ltd

John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd

FCC Consctruction S.A

Brookfield Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd

FM Service

BAM FM Ireland Ltd


Noonan Servcies Group Ltd

HSG Zander Ireland Facility Services Ltd

Typical Supply Chain Opportunities

Download further details of supplier categories that are of interest to the contractors

Pre-qualifying supplier requirements will include:

  • Up to date Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Employer's Liability and/or Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Accredited Safety Management System

Full details of the pre-qualifyingsupplier requirements will be provided on the supplier questionnaires and at the Meet the Buyer event

For further information on the Meet the Buyer event, please contact:

Karen Hoey
Morrow Communications
Tel:  01 6689887

For information on public sector opportunities, please contact:

Orlagh Murphy

Enterprise Ireland

Tel 01 7272965


Maria Gavin

Enterprise Ireland

Tel 01 7272887


16/07/2014 - Over 800 Projects Commenced Year-to-Date

832 projects commenced to-date during 2014

According to CIS research department over 800 projects have commenced construction work so far this year.  For the purpose of analysis I have categorised the projects into 4 construction value band brackets - the graph below describes the volumes of individual projects per value band.  The anaylsis does not include data for self-build residential or extensions.

16/07/2014 - Over 800 Projects Commenced Year-to-Date

Full project detail on all 832 projects is available to CIS subscribers online.  If you are not currently a subscriber please feel free to take our free 10 day trial or call +353 1 2999200 for further information.

07/07/2014 - Sunday Business Post Feature with CIS Managing Director

Business Information/Market Research Sources: CIS offers clients proactive project monitoring

The construction sector is re-emerging from recession and CIS (Construction Information Services), as the leading provider of market intelligence to the sector, can play a pivotal role on behalf of its clients by pointing them in the direction of new projects.

''There's only one way the construction sector in Ireland can go, and that's up, said CIS managing director Tom Moloney.

But he added: ''It will not happen overnight and confidence has to be rebuilt in order to ensure that growth can be sustained into the future.

CIS provides a project pipeline service to clients via its web service Through this service CIS keeps its clients continuously up to date on all contract and supply opportunities that are surfacing in the re-emerging construction sector.

''As the construction sector begins to lift, our service is being actively engaged with by companies from across the entire construction sector. CIS enables clients to target the sectors and locations where new projects are emerging and critically where opportunities will emerge six months down the line and beyond, he said.

CIS felt the pain experienced by the sector first hand over recent years. However, having been established for almost four decades when the recession bit in 2008, its management understood the importance of resilience and its long history gave it the strength to battle its way through the meltdown. Now, like the construction industry itself, CIS is enjoying growth.

''We grew our client base by 35 per cent over the past 12 months. As a business tool, the information we provide helps identify projects and generates sales leads. Clients can search for projects by county, sector, value and size.

Whether you are searching for information about residential projects in the midlands, a new commercial property in Cork or the National Children's Hospital in Dublin, CIS can guide you to where the work is.

''We track projects from planning applications through to tender stage, to the time contracts are awarded, to completion, said Moloney.

''We have a wide range of clients from contractors, to professionals to suppliers, including architects, landscape designers, consultative engineering firms, recruitment companies and property consultants. But we also have clients who are chasing very specific business such as flooring or fit-outs for commercial properties.

''Ours is a simple to use, intuitive site, he said. ''Three or four clicks will give you a snapshot of existing and potential business.

The recession gave CIS the opportunity to strengthen its all-island offering. ''The recession forced a lot of undesired change on us, but on a positive note we also took the opportunity to upgrade our technology platform and in 2012 we acquired Unearthore, a Northern Ireland-based information business. This has given us a much stronger foothold in Northern Ireland and we are ready for the pickup, which has been a bit slower there, but is starting to happen.

As Moloney sees it, one of the key advantages with the CIS service is the fact that it tracks projects. ''We give proactive updates issuing alerts by daily or weekly email to subscribers, reminding them about relevant deadlines, etc.

He has a positive outlook for the business and the sector and states that recently CIS has welcomed back many previous clients to its popular project monitoring service, including most of Ireland's largest property consultancy and estate agency firms.

''The fact that we have also recently signed up many of the leading recruitment consultancies in Ireland bodes well for employment numbers within the sector also, he said.

According to Moloney the recovery has been Dublin-led, but there are now positive signs emerging in other areas of the country as well as Northern Ireland.

''The beauty of the CIS service is that it removes confusion and speculation - with a few simple clicks the key areas of activity are isolated and identified.

CIS research indicates that the main areas of recovery are commercial and hospitality. ''Education is always a steady performer, and the medical sector, industrial warehousing and storage are also starting to pick up.

''However, for construction to fully recover it needs to be at 12 per cent of GNP and currently even with recent improvements we are at only half that figure.

Looking to the future for CIS, Moloney is confident. ''We have been through very tough times, but we now have the technology, skills and infrastructure in place to benefit from the turning tide, he said.

23/06/2104 - 5 key Sectors - Over 2000 New Projects Planned

Following a recent examination (1st Jan - 18th June) of 5 key project sectors within our research database we have identified 2002 new applications lodged so far in 2014 across 5 of the key sectors.  Across 4 of the sectors the volume of projects lodged compares very similarly to 2013 (2221 applications), however a significant decrease in the new planning projects in the Civil and Utilities sector contributes to a 10% decrease from 2013.

 2014 Applications

12/05/2014 - Summer Works Schools Projects Round 2

Earlier this month, the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D. announced that a further 386 schools across every county in Ireland will be able to undertake school improve- ments this summer.

More than 100 thousand pupils will benefit from the second round of the Summer Works Scheme which aims to upgrade toilets and roofs in primary and secondary schools nationwide. Almost €35 million is being provided by the Department of Education and Skills under the second round of funding for the Summer Works Scheme 2014.

280 of the schools which will benefit from this round of funding are primary schools, while 106 are post primary schools. The majority of these will receive the money to refurbish toilets and roofs throughout their schools. They represent almost 80% of the total applications received from schools. Some 33 schools, who supplied additional information to the Department following Round 1 of the scheme, will also, receive money for projects relating to gas, electricity and mechanical works.

These second round works are expected to commence in July 2014 and are expected to be completed in time for this years’ September term. With an overall allocation of €35 million, CIS have estimated that each of the projects represent a €50k-€100k contract value.

The Minister also added, that, “the news is a welcome boost for the construction sector as it should support jobs in the communities in which these schools are situated".  The Minister also added, that, “the news is a welcome boost for the construction sector as it should support jobs in the communities in which these schools are situated".

This year, almost €470 million will be invested in school building infrastructure under the school building and modernization programme.

Download FREE report here

Regional Breakdown

Produced by Scott Delaney, Researcher.

08/05/2014 - Pitch, Network & Build Consortia

Do you want to increase your chances of public sector wins? 
How do you pitch to win business?
Have you considered collaboration?

Enterprise Ireland will hold a free half day on key aspects of Pitching, Networking and Consortia Building on Wed 11th June 2014 in the Crowne Plaza Hotel Northwood, Santry, Dublin 9.

The seminar will prepare companies to attend the 'Meet the Buyer' events on supply chain opportunities in public sector construction projects such as DIT Grangegorman, Primary Care Centres, Courthouses and Garda Divisional Headquarters.

VENUE : Crowne Plaza Northwood, Santry, Dublin 9
DATE : Wednesday 11th June 2014
TIME : 07:45 to 12:00

Registration for this seminar is open to microbusinesses and SMEs in the construction sector, the event will provide insights on pitching & consortia building aimed at national & international public sector construction projects.  Attendees will learn about:

  • How to speed pitch to win partners & win business
  • Understanding the opportunity - to quote or not to quote
  • Building consortia and partnering: understanding the rationale for partnership bidding
  • Identifying potential partners
  • Managing the practicalities & legal aspects of consortia building

You can find further details on the seminar including a draft programme on the event webpage

Further Information Here

Pre-registration for this FREE seminar is essential and is on a first come first registered basis.  Enterprise Ireland asks that a maximum of 2 representatives per company register to attend due to capacity limitation.

To book your place please click the link below.

Register Here

Please note, if you do not register in advance of the event Enterprise Ireland cannot guarantee availability of a place.

Event registration will close at 5pm on Friday 6th June 2014.

For further information on this seminar, please contact
Karen Hoey of Morrow Communications
Tel:  01 6689887  Email:

For specific public sector tender queries, please contact
Orlagh Murphy
Senior Market Adviser
Public Procurement Department
Enterprise Ireland
Tel:  01 7272965  Email:

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07/05/2014 - Commercial Sector Focus

Commercial Sector

24/02/2014 - Facing and Resolving some of the Common Challenges in the Procurement Process

It is no great leap to say there are problems with the procurement process. Current economic and competitive pressures only serve to aggravate these problems resulting in a process fraught with obstacles and potential nightmares. A recent article in the Irish Times by Bruno Herbot expresses the frustrations felt by procurers and tenderers alike.

Compliance with statutory procedures can pose a real challenge to procurers. This is particularly true for publicly funded clients and particularly with EU procedures. The tenderer faces even greater challenges with cut throat competition, short tendering time and pressure on all important strategies.

Mistakes are inevitably made in such a high pressure environment. The results of these mistakes are always expensive. Either the tendering process must be re-run or the errors remain in the contract only to surface again later and cause expensive disputes.

No panacea will remedy or prevent all of these problems. However some common problems arise again and again in the procurement/tendering processes. By taking care to watch out for these issues and taking steps to avoid them the inherent difficulties of the process can be minimised for both tenderers and procurers alike.

Conflicts and Errors within Tendering Documents

For Public Procurement the Bill of Quantities is no longer the prime document since the introduction of the PWC contracts. It can thereby no longer be relied on to resolve the conflicts between the various design responsibilities.

The separate Work Requirement documents of architects, designers and engineers will inevitably contain significant differences which if not resolved before tender issue will provide opportunity for unscrupulous contractors to take advantage and offer the option of least cost to the unwary client/designer.

The prudent design team will carry out that all important check pre-tender. Whilst not ideal, a post tender review of the rates in the pricing document compared with the expected work requirement item should in many cases be enough to highlight areas of concern. This allows procurers to bring up these issues up before entering into contract and avoid a potential dispute/additional cost for the client at a later time.

Such differences can be quiet subtle, such as a reference made in a specification not appearing on a drawing. As was recently observed in one of our own pre-award meetings an under priced window package did not include an essential safety feature. The prospective contractor argued that it did not appear on the supplied drawings. Though his argument was not accepted, it was nevertheless decided to be prudent and re-tender rather than risk an expensive post contract dispute.

Abnormally Low Tenders

One of the main problems created by abnormally low tenders (ALTs) is the process of investigation required to confirm that they are in fact ALTs. Even when this process is carried out it is often inconclusive. This is entirely a result of recession in the construction industry

Ultimately ALTs undermine the entire tender process. They can also have potentially catastrophic consequences such as insolvency for the ALT contractor trying to fund his business through cash flow alone.

For the client the apparent benefit of a substantial discount is always negated through below quality work, through claims to recover the lost sums or the expense of retendering a half completed project for which he will carry the liability of latent defects.

To guard against ALTs the procurer must have reference to a recently prepared budget as well as establishing a figure below which a tender should be considered an ALT and prompt an investigation.

Under public work contracts ALTs are considered non-compliant tenders. However, establishing that a tender is abnormally low becomes particularly difficult where a number of apparent ALTs have been received. This requires a thorough and fair investigation that complies with the Information to Tenderers document.

Some UK courts hold the view that public authorities are bound to investigate the nature of a tender where an ALT is suspected. The investigation is then on the record should subsequent challenges occur. The EU is due to issue revised directives on ALTs in 2014.

Non Compliant Tender Documentation

A particular problem relates to tender offers that do not match the last issued tender documentation. Changes are often made to documents through the tender process as clarifications are made and designs revised.

The risk is that some tender changes may not be received or acknowledged by the tenderers. It then becomes unclear whether their tender is based on the original or revised documentation.

The golden rule is that all communication with tenderers should go through just one nominated party and written confirmation of all communications be sought from the tenderer. Silence will not constitute assent. Public procurers must also clearly identify any changes from the original on the issued documentation. If they are not, the tenderer may be within his rights to ignore the change particularly if it might increase their price.

The timing of these changes can be a serious issue for tenderers, as estimates may already have been obtained or key personnel may be away if changes are issued close to holiday periods. It is important that if clients seek changes after the tender documents are issued that they consider the time required for the tenderer to incorporate these changes and grant appropriate extensions of time.

Selecting a Tender List

A real risk for procurers in the current economic climate is the selection of potentially insolvent or poorly performing contractors.

Where selective tendering is used in public procurement processes some of the challenges can be addressed. Tenderers can be assessed through standard questionnaires and sworn certificates of compliance. However, these processes face the risk of challenge from disgruntled applicants should they choose to follow the complaints procedure.

Even with these checks in place the prospective contractor may no longer be compliant by the end of what can be a protracted process.

Recent reductions in bond cover under public contracts from 25% to between 10% and 12% also means the dubious practice of relying on the bondsman to carry out due diligence on prospective tenderers is no longer an option.

To minimise the risk involved design teams must be able to demonstrate their own due diligence in selecting a tender list. Prospective tenderers should however be made aware of the requirements involved.

Evaluating Tenders for Non Pricing Issues

When an open tender is used to evaluate more than just price, e.g. a design and build tender, there is inherent risk in setting out and explaining the evaluation process and marking systems to be used. This particularly applies to public clients.

If a marking system is to be established it must be based on direct and objective questions and not be seen to be discriminatory, e.g. limited only to contractors building schools. Unsuccessful bidders may ask the client to demonstrate that the assessment was carried out in accordance with the stated process.

Ensuring the assessment system is clear, direct and simple avoids the complex questions and marking systems that may cause problems as the process goes on.

Overall, the procurement process remains complex and challenging. Unfortunately this is not likely to change overnight. In the mean time, if procurers and tenderers are to make it through these difficult times unscathed it is important that they take the time and energy to properly evaluate and navigate this process as any shortcuts inevitably lead to greater cost down the line for all involved.


This is a guest blog post written by Gerry O’Sullivan from MMP.

Gerry has been a legal consultant with MMP Quantity Surveyors since 2005. He is also a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and worked with MMP from 1979 to 1989 and laterally from 2000. He has extensive experience in many aspects of the Construction Industry. He has served on many professional committees within the Construction Industry, and he is currently President of CEEC (Construction Economists within European Community). Gerry works on educational, medical, commercial, residential and refurbishment projects. He also works as a Conciliator, Mediator and Arbitrator on contract disputes within the Construction Industry.

Gerry O'Sullivan

20/01/2014 - "Meet the Buyer"

Connecting Local Suppliers to Opportunities in the Education Construction Sector

"Meet The Buyer" is a special FREE event being jointly run by the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) and Enterprise Ireland.  Both organisations will jointly host this event on Friday 31st January at the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

The aim of the event is to provide information on supply chain opportunities in the schools PPP programme which is part of the €650m PPP stimulus package.

Event details & registration

Date: Friday 31st January 2014
Venue: Portlaoise Heritage Hotel, Town Centre, Portlaoise, Co. Laois
Time: 09:15 - 13:30

To register online for this FREE event - Click Here

or contact:

Claire Beattie +353 1 7272275

Cormac Friel  +353 1 7272137

Attendees at this important event will:

  • Learn about the schools PPP programme
  • Meet with the 3 shortlisted contractors/facilities management providers tendering for the projects
  • Find out how to become a sub-supplier to the projects
  • Receive information on employer support programmes
  • Access expert advice on credit rating, bond financing and credit insurance

Full details of the event programme, shortlisted candidates and supplier/contractor categories eligible to attend - Click Here

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