Bus Éireann welcome referral of recent report on allegations to the Gardaí

Bus Éireann management yesterday attended the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Transport in relation to the operation of the School Transport procurement process.

The company was also prepared to deliver a full account, and answer any questions, relating to recent allegations of corruption. However, management was advised on arrival that the issue could not be discussed on foot of legal advice to the Committee.

Bus Éireann has already provided a full report of an internal investigation to the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar, the Minister of State for Commuter & Public Transport Alan Kelly, and the Minister of State for Training & Skills Ciaran Cannon. In addition, this report has been sent to the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Transport and the Public Accounts Committee in the spirit of openness and transparency. It is expected this will be published in the coming days.

It should be noted that the individuals raising the allegations of corruption, claim to have evidence, which they have withheld since 2012.

Bus Éireann has consistently stated that any party with evidence of wrongdoing should report the matter to the Gardai or other relevant authorities. In this respect, we welcome the decision by the Committee on Transport yesterday, to refer our update of matters relating to allegations of corruption, to An Garda Siochana. The company remains willing to co-operate fully with any further investigation.

Bus Éireann is determined to protect its good reputation, and is confident that recent allegations have been investigated fully internally. The company has both a Good Faith Reporting Policy and a Code of Business Ethics for Employees. We also take any attempts to undermine – or allege discrepancies - in our procurement policy, very seriously. All company employees sign a strict ethics code, which is updated regularly.

Bus Éireann told the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport yesterday that the company does not make a profit from the Schools Transport Scheme, which it operates on behalf of the DoES. Any surplus funds arising in any one year for the operation of the Scheme, are clearly identified and invested back into the scheme.

Addressing the Committee, Martin Nolan, CEO, Bus Éireann, said that ‘’Bus Éireann remains committed to providing the best school transport system in the most efficient and economic manner. The management of the school bus network to deliver 40 million child journeys each year is coordinated and integrated where possible, with the provision of local transport services. This is done with both public and privately owned transport, so as to make best use of local resources and to minimise costs’. 

Thursday, 8th May, 2014