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Council defends DublinBikes against long-term criticism of deal with JCDecaux

An assistant chief executive of Dublin City Council has hit back at commentators who over the years have claimed there are issues with the deal done between the council and JCDecaux for DublinBikes. He said that the Department of the Environment, the Competition Authority, and the Gardai have all investigated the contract for the public bicycle scheme.

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The deal also included a network of tourist wayfinding signs and council use of advertising for advertising public events and information campaigns.

Jim Keogan, assistant chief executive with the responsibility for planning and property, defended the contract and processes of the DublinBikes deal at a South East area committee meeting of Dublin City Council on Monday last. He was addressing councillors, including independent councillor Cllr Mannix Flynn, who is a long-term critic of the deal.

He said: “That contract — despite what you might say Cllr Flynn — was based on a competitive tendering process that was secured and won by JCDecaux, who are world leaders in relation to bike schemes. Because of their brand, because of their attention to detail, because of their ability to manage and maintain — as they are obliged to do under the terms of the contract — DublinBikes has been hugely successful and has contributed to enormously to the growth in cycling within the city.”

Keogan added: “I have to take issue with some of the comments made of the years, this contract which [the council] entered into in 2006 has been the subject of exhaustive investigation by third parties — the Department of the Environment internal audit examined it, our own internal audit examined it, as did the Competition Authority, as did the Garda Síochána.”

“I have yet to see any comment that anything untoward was done or that there was anything in way of problems associated with the contract and I’d like to put that on record because comments have been made over the years which have not been retracted in relation to the officials who dealt with the original contract and the bona fides of introducing the contract,” he said.

“I think it’s important to put on record that this has gone through due process and procedure and has been examined enormously by different groups of organisations and nothing has been found to suggest anything untoward was done.”

After the assistant chief executive spoke, Cllr Mannix Flynn said “Regarding the contracts, most of the contracts I’ve got my hands on were redacted, simply a black document,” however, it’s unclear why this would be because the contracts were released under Freedom of Information. The main contract documents were published by this site at a few years ago and additional related documents were put online last year.

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Cian Ginty

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