City Manager must release Greyhound contract

As leader of the Fianna Fail group on Dublin City Council I have repeated the Fianna Fail groups request to the Dublin City Manager to release the contract signed between Dublin City Council and the private waste company Greyhound Recycling.

At the request of the Fianna Fail group a special meeting of Dublin City Council was held on 23rd January 2012. At that meeting a motion, proposed by the Fianna Fail group, was passed calling on the City Manager to provide Councillors with the terms of the agreement between DCC and Greyhound Recycling. More than four months have passed, and despite follow-up requests, the City Manager has not provided the Councillors with a copy of the contract. In those four months Dublin City Councils bad debts associated with the service have escalated from €6million to €11million. Greyhound has sold-off the commercial waste collection service to another private operator and we have to assume made some profit in the transaction.

The Fianna Fail group finds this situation unacceptable. It is unacceptable that a significant public asset has been disposed of and there is no record of what payment if any was received. It is unacceptable that unelected officials have access to information that elected representatives do not have access to. It is unacceptable that we are expected to ask people to pay taxes for local services to supposedly fund local services and at the same time part of the business that was generating a significant revenue stream for the City Council has disappeared without trace. The people are not fools and we will not be fobbed-off by the City Manager. The people rightly hold us to account, it is our job to hold the Manager to account.

We referred this deal to the Public Accounts Committee, the Data Protection Commissioner and the Competition Authority. I have written today to the City Manager, on behalf of the Fianna Fail Group, referring him to Section 136 of the Local Government Act 2001, asking him to release the contract and we hope he will accede to our request. Mary

Letter to City Manager

Dear Manager,

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Fianna Fáil Group on Dublin City Council.

As you are no doubt aware, on 23 January 2012 the Fianna Fáil Group called an emergency meeting of Dublin City Council to discuss the City waste collection service that was transferred by the City Council to Greyhound at the beginning of this year. At that meeting a number of motions pertaining to the transfer of the waste collection service to Greyhound was submitted by Fianna Fáil and carried by the Council. One of the motions put and carried was as follows:

“The elected members of Dublin City Council again call on the City Manager to make available to the members the service level agreement and the commercial terms agreed with Greyhound. The Manager should advise what payment Greyhound made to DCC for the business and/or how much DCC is paying Greyhound to fulfil the service.” (This motion is recorded at paragraph 8(g) of the minutes of the meeting of 23 January 2012)

To date this information has not been provided by you to the elected members.

Section 136 of the Local Government Act, 2001, provides:

“Without prejudice to Section 105, 135, 137 or 138 a Manager shall, whenever requested –

(a) by an elected Council of a Local Authority for which he or she is the Manager or by its Cathaoirleach, or
(b) by a joint body for which he or she is the Manager, or by its Chairperson,

afford to the Council, Cathaoirleach, Joint Body or Chairperson (as the case may be) all information that may be in the possession or procurement of such Manager in regard to any act, matter or thing relating to or concerning any business or transaction of such Local Authority or body which is mentioned in the request.”

The motion that was passed by the City Council on 23 January 2012 was a specific request from the elected Council to you for information on the commercial terms agreed by Dublin City Council with Greyhound. Further, the motion specifically sought information from you as to what payment Greyhound paid to the Council for the business and/or how much the Council is paying Greyhound to fulfil the service.

In accordance with Section 136 of the Local Government Act, 2001 we hereby require you to provide this information to the Council. The request for information was made nearly four months ago and we believe that compliance with Section 136 requires that you furnish all of the information in respect of this matter to the Council immediately.

We look forward to hearing back from you.

Yours sincerely,
Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick
Cllr Paul McAuliffe
Cllr Jim O’Callaghan
Cllr Tom Brabazon
Cllr Julia Carmicheal
Cllr Deirdre Heney

Councillor Mary Fitzpatrick, Fianna Fail Group Leader