Case Comment: R (Good Law Project & Others) v Secretary of State for Health AND Social Care [2021] EWHC 346 (Admin) – Late Publication of Coronavirus Contracts Unlawful – 39 Essex Chambers

‘Last Friday Chamberlain J handed down judgment in a challenge concerning the government’s compliance with procurement law and its own transparency guidance in the awarding of goods and services contracts during the COVID-19 pandemic. By reg. 50 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care was obliged to send for publication a contract award notice (“CAN”) not later than 30 days after the award of a contract. By its transparency policy and principles it was obliged to publish details of any contract.’

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39 Essex Chambers, 23rd February 2021

Source: www.39essex.com

Judgment in Good Law Project JR on publication of Covid-19 procurement notices – Monckton Chambers

‘This is the first in a series of procurement law judicial review (JR) cases relating to Covid-19 brought by the Good Law Project (GLP) to have reached the judgment stage. The case concerned the (non)publication of contract award notices (CANs) within 30 days under regulation 50 Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR) and of other contract notices and materials within 20 or 90 days under relevant transparency policies.’

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Monckton Chambers, 19th February 2021

Source: www.monckton.com

The PPE procurement case: transparency missed in both politics and law – Transparency Project

Posted February 24th, 2021 in coronavirus, government departments, judicial review, news, public procurement by sally

‘Last week the High Court made a widely publicised decision declaring that a government minister and his department had acted unlawfully in relation to the award of PPE procurement contracts in the early weeks of the pandemic. The case is called R (Good Law Project and others) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care [2021] EWHC 346 (Admin). It’s of particular interest to us because it’s all about transparency.’

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Transparency Project, 23rd February 2021

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Procurement—withdrawal of challenged award decision ends automatic suspension (Aquila Heywood Ltd v Local Pensions Partnership) – Henderson Chambers

Posted February 11th, 2021 in chambers articles, contracts, news, public procurement, regulations by sally

‘Local Pensions Partnership Administration Ltd (LPPA) awarded a contract under a framework. Acquila Heywood Ltd (Acquila) issued proceedings challenging the award on various bases. LPPA then withdrew the award decision and replaced it with a second decision in which Acquila was again unsuccessful. Acquila did not issue proceedings in respect of the second decision or amend its existing claim. The court held that the automatic suspension which arose under regulation 95 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015), SI 2015/102 only prevented LPPA from awarding the contract pursuant to the first decision. Once that decision had been withdrawn and the bids re-evaluated, it served no further purpose. LLPA was therefore not required to refrain from entering into a contract pursuant to its second decision. LPPA’s application to lift the suspension pursuant to PCR 2015, SI 2015/102, reg 96(1)(a) was unnecessary.’

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Henderson Chambers, 9th February 2021

Source: www.hendersonchambers.co.uk

‘I don’t like acts of dishonesty by the state’: Jolyon Maugham QC on Covid cronyism – The Guardian

‘Over the past few years, Jolyon Maugham QC, founder of the Good Law Project, has become an unmissable presence on Twitter. But unlike most keyboard warriors – anonymously vocal about Brexit, trading memes over mask-wearing and gender politics – he has only ever seen the social media platform as a means to an end. “I really don’t like this phenomenon of disinterested observers pointing out things that are going wrong,” he says. “I want to be in the club of people who actually put skin in the game to make it better, rather than merely making clever observations from the sidelines.”’

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The Guardian, 22nd November 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Covid spending: Watchdog finds MPs’ contacts were given priority – BBC News

‘Companies recommended by MPs, peers and ministers’ offices were given priority as the government raced to obtain Personal Protective Equipment, the National Audit Office found.’

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BBC News, 18th November 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Academy trust facing legal challenge over award of £2m software contract – Local Government Lawyer

Posted October 16th, 2020 in computer programs, contracts, local government, news, public procurement by sally

‘A large academy school trust faces litigation from a firm that lost out in the award of an IT contract.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 15th October 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Standing to bring a public procurement challenge—key considerations – Henderson Chambers

Posted August 14th, 2020 in chambers articles, contracts, local government, news, public procurement by sally

‘In a preliminary issue trial, the court considered the provisions of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015) relating to standing to bring a claim. The claimant’s case was that the council had unlawfully amended and extended an existing contract instead of conducting a full public procurement exercise and that, had such an exercise been run, it would have assembled a consortium to bid for the contract and might have won it. In a lengthy judgment, His Honour Judge Russen QC hammered home the fact that a potential challenger has to establish on the balance of probabilities that it has a ‘material interest’ in the procurement in order to bring a claim under PCR 2015. It is not sufficient, in order to meet the requirements of PCR 2015, reg 91, for a claimant to say that it has established only a more than fanciful case that it has, through noncompliance with the regulations, lost a more than fanciful opportunity. Community R4C Ltd v Gloucestershire County Council [2020] EWHC 1803 (TCC).’

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Henderson Chambers, 5th August 2020

Source: www.hendersonchambers.co.uk

Government facing legal challenge over urgent award of £108m PPE contract – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Good Law Project will today [15 June] launch judicial review proceedings over the Government’s award of an £108m contract to a pest control company for the supply of PPE.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 15th June 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Time Limits for Tender Challenges: test for extending time to bring a public procurement challenge – Henderson Chambers

‘In Riverside Truck Rental Ltd-v-Lancashire County Council [2020] EWHC 1018 (TCC) the High Court confirmed the strict application of the rules governing the time limits for bringing a claim for breach of the EU Public Procurement regime, whether it be in the High Court (TCC) by way of a claim under the regulation 91 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, or in the Administrative Court by way of a claim for judicial review.’

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Henderson Chambers, 14th May 2020

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Police watchdog to announce decision on Johnson-Arcuri inquiry – The Guardian

‘Boris Johnson will find out on Thursday if he faces a criminal investigation into his relationship with an American businesswoman while he was mayor of London.’

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The Guardian, 20th May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Lifting the automatic suspension in procurement claims (Alstom v Network Rail) – Henderson Chambers

Posted January 17th, 2020 in damages, news, public procurement, railways by sally

‘The court provided a closely reasoned judgment granting Network Rail’s application to lift the automatic suspension which arose on issue of a procurement challenge by Alstom pursuant to Regulation 110 of the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/274). The court’s approach and the principles that it employed are likely to be equally applicable to an application to lift the automatic suspension under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/102). As the court found that damages would be an adequate remedy for Alstom but not an adequate remedy for Network Rail, Network Rail’s application was granted. Written by Jonathan Lewis, barrister, at Henderson Chambers.’

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Henderson Chambers, 9th January 2020

Source: www.hendersonchambers.co.uk

Ocean Outdoor v London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham [2019] EWCA Civ 1642 – Monckton Chambers

Posted October 30th, 2019 in appeals, contracts, damages, local government, news, public procurement, sale of land by sally

‘In a major judgment handed down by the Court of Appeal last week, Coulson LJ has given important guidance on the scope of the Concessions Contract Regulations 2016 (“the CCRs”), the extent of the land transaction exemption, and the requirements for claimants to show ‘sufficiently serious breach’ in procurement claims more generally. This was the first case to consider the CCRs in such a level of detail, and – in a ruling likely to be welcomed by public authorities – the meaning of ‘concession contract’ for the purposes of the Regulations is construed relatively narrowly, with the land transaction exemption given a conversely generous interpretation. The judge’s comments on the hurdles which a claimant must surmount to be awarded Francovich damages for breaches of procurement law also have a notably pro-defendant slant.’

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Monckton Chambers, 16th October 2019

Source: www.monckton.com

Abandoning a procurement: not always the end of the story – Henderson Chambers

Posted July 3rd, 2019 in local government, news, public procurement, statutory duty by sally

‘In Amey Highways Ltd v West Sussex Highways [2019] EWHC 1291 (TCC), Stuart SmithJ held that a contracting authority’s decision to abandon a procurement following a challenge brought by a disappointed tenderer does not automatically extinguish that tenderer’s claim for damages.’

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Henderson Chambers, 25th June 2019

Source: www.hendersonchambers.co.uk

Suspension of Contract – Local Government Law

‘Kenson Contractors v Haringey LBC (2019) EWHC 1230 (Admin) was an application made by the Claimant contractor, for an interim injunction against the Council to suspend its decision to award or execute a road-improvement contract to the Interested Party, Marlborough Highways Limited (“MHL”). Kenson came second in the procurement exercise for that contract and MHL came first. Because of the value of the contract (some £630,000 plus VAT) this procurement exercise was well below the threshold for the operation of the otherwise relevant parts of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. The underlying claim was brought by way of judicial review (“JR”) of the Council’s decision to award the contract to MHL rather than Kenson.’

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Local Government Law, 22nd May 2019

Source: local-government-law.11kbw.com

Eurotunnel challenges ‘secretive’ Brexit ferry deals – BBC News

Posted March 1st, 2019 in brexit, compensation, contracting out, news, public procurement, tenders, transport by tracey

‘The government is facing a court challenge over the contracts it awarded to three shipping firms as part of its no-deal Brexit preparations.’

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BBC News, 1st March 2019

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Government sued over no-deal ferry contracts – BBC News

Posted February 12th, 2019 in brexit, competition, contracts, news, public procurement, ships, transport by tracey

‘The government is being sued for its decision to charter firms to run extra ferries, including one with no ships, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.’

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BbC News, 12th February 2019

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Watchdog wants public sector contractors subject to FOI laws – OUT-LAW.com

Posted February 4th, 2019 in contracting out, freedom of information, news, public procurement by sally

‘Freedom of information (FOI) laws should be updated to account for the risks to transparency and accountability in the performance of public services where they are outsourced to businesses, the UK’s information commissioner has said.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 1st February 2019

Source: www.out-law.com

Accountancy watchdog criticised over legal services procurement – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted December 19th, 2018 in accountants, auditors, competition, legal services, news, ombudsmen, public procurement by sally

‘The accountancy regulator should adopt a more open procurement policy when tendering for legal and professional services, a review assessing its clout has found.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 18th December 2018

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

TCC decides that new trains for the Piccadilly Line cannot be held up by procurement dispute – Henderson Chambers

Posted December 12th, 2018 in contracting out, damages, news, public procurement, railways, tenders by sally

‘This case somewhat starkly makes clear that where the automatic suspension of a public procurement process is preventing the putting in place of a key public service, it is very unlikely that the court will refuse to lift the suspension on American Cyanamid principles (ACPs). The case also makes clear that challengers cannot assume that commercial confidentiality will be enforced by way of private hearings in public procurement disputes. Written by Adam Heppinstall, barrister at Henderson Chambers.’

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Henderson Chambers, 11th December 2018

Source: www.hendersonchambers.co.uk