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Supplier in contract row with Coast Guard threatens to hold equipment at 'secure location' until paid

The company said it has been accused by the Coast Guard of overcharging on a contract – an accusation it rejects.

The contract in dispute relates to all-terrain vehicles supplied to the Irish Coast Guard.
The contract in dispute relates to all-terrain vehicles supplied to the Irish Coast Guard.
Image: Storm-tec

A COMPANY THAT supplies equipment to the Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) has threatened to hold onto rescue ‘equipment or goods’ until it is paid for what it claims are outstanding fees, in a dispute with the IRCG.

The supplier, Stormtechmarine Ltd, wrote to a number of Coast Guard officers in charge (OICs) recently to inform them and their teams of volunteers that it has put the IRCG account “on stop”.

In an email, the firm said it would not be providing any further services or equipment to the IRCG until the debt is paid in full.

Attached to the email was correspondence that was sent to Coast Guard management on 2 December.

In it, Storm-tec said it is owed “in excess of €50,000″ by the Coast Guard. It also said equipment or goods belonging to the IRCG will be held in lieu of payment and “stored in a safe and secure location until the debt has been fully settled”.

The firm referenced an investigation by the Irish Coast Guard earlier which resulted in “unfounded and unproven allegations of systematic overcharging by Storm-tec on the ATV (all terrain vehicle) contract”.

The Stormtecmarine Ltd letter notes that it received a demand for repayment of €247,751 from the Coast Guard in February this year and that it rejects this allegation of overcharging.

“We provided evidence that we had acted under the instructions of IRCG managers at all times and only charged the agreed amount to meet the IRCG specification as laid out in the OGP [Office of Government Procurement] contract.”

The email to OICs apologised for the inconvenience caused to rescue teams and the company said it would do “everything in our power to resolve this matter in a timely
manner”.

Storm-tec said it had “no comments to make”, when contacted by TheJournal.ie in relation to its letter.

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport told TheJournal.ie: “Our response is that it would not be appropriate for the department to make any comment on this matter.”

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