A PUBLIC body spent more than €14,000 on five display televisions as part of a €1.6 million makeover of its city centre offices.
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) paid out over €320,000 for “fixtures and fittings” as part of the renovation of three floors of office space in Dublin.
Among the items purchased were a €16,728 meeting table along with €15,153 for twenty-two chairs to go around it.
The chairs each cost almost €690 and were described in invoices as “stick executive high back chairs”. They were bought from the Italian design firm ICF Office.
A “bevel meeting table” was also bought from the same Milanese company. It cost €2,779 and seats six people. With a white top and an oak frame, it is described on the ICF website as “as strong as roots, as sleek as stems”.
Two more ten-seater meeting tables were bought from the German design firm Konig + Neurath, each of them costing €4,108.
The Plenum K tables — at least according to the manufacturer — combine “technical functionality by integrating state-of-the-art media technology, high quality and a superior aesthetic standard for individually-tailored requirements”.
Five two door storage units from Konig + Neurath were bought as well, each coming with a price tag of €1,273. Another forty-four similar units were bought from the same firm, every one of them costing in excess of €1,000.
Also on the tab were two designer Sinetica captain chairs, each of which cost just under €900. The elegant lounge chairs have an oakwood base and are described as a “light and sinuous armchair with an ample and relaxing outline”.
Sinetica were also the design firm of choice for a “diamond exec desk” for the offices, which came with a bill for just under €1,300.
The five televisions purchased were all top of the range high-definition Sony Bravias. Two 75 inch screens were bought for just over €3,950 each, two 65-inch sets for €2,367 each, while a single 55-inch TV costs €1,609.
The Human Rights and Equality Commission also purchased six Quattro tables from the design firm Andreu World. Each of those cost €848.70 with a combined bill of €5,092.
Five sofas, each costing more than €1,300, were bought as well as part of the refurbishment project.
Three of them were bought from the UK-based design firm sixteen3. They came from the Erno line with its “strong rectilinear aesthetic” and are ideal “for breakout, reception and lounge areas”. Individually, they cost between €1,346 and €1,414.
Two more basket sofas — each costing just over €1,500 — were bought from the Danish furniture designers Softline, according to invoices released under FOI.
Other items purchased included four receptionist chairs, each more than €600, a conference room lectern costing €1,992, and five “executive storage credenzas” for a combined €6,672.
Eight “floor cushions”, each costing over €100, ended up costing €836.40 after VAT was included.
Another almost €25,000 was spent on the purchase of 58 “liberty ergonomic office chairs”, according to a table of costs.
The entire refurbishment project cost €1.9 million with just under €150,000 paid out for architectural services and the main bulk of the cost, almost €1.5 million, spent on construction services.
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission — an independent public body that is accountable to the Oireachtas — said they had first leased the property on Green Street in 2015.
They said: “[It has] since been refurbished to provide a modern accessible working environment for the Commissionâ€™s planned 64 staff.
“The refurbishment project also included the development of a new ground floor facility, which is dedicated to meetings, seminars and events related to human rights and equality, hosted by the Commission and by a diverse range of civil society organisations.”
In their response to the FOI request, they said they would not be releasing details of the supplier of the furniture as disclosure could cause them a financial loss or “prejudice [their] competitive position”.