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Public procurement case digest (May 2013)

PLC Public Sector reports:

Following a quiet month, our May 2013 case digest reviews a case on the application of the Treaty principles to specific procurement requirements and takes a look back at the year to date.

Please feel free to submit a comment below or contact us at: if you have any views on the cases covered or think that we have missed a case that should be brought to the attention of public procurement practitioners.


ISO certification requirement not a breach of Treaty principles  (A+P Kieffer Omnitec Sarl v European Commission (Case T-288/11))

On 6 May 2013, the General Court handed down a judgment on an appeal by an unsuccessful tenderer against a decision of the European Commission. The General Court dismissed the appeal in its entirety, finding that the Commission’s requirement that tenderers be ISO certified for all maintenance activities was clear from the tender specifications and did not infringe the principles of transparency, equality of treatment and proportionality. The General Court also found that the Commission had made no manifest error of assessment in concluding that the unsuccessful tenderer had not submitted conclusive and relevant documents to demonstrate that the proposed candidates possessed the required technical qualifications as set out in the tender specifications.

Most viewed case reports in 2013 to date

In what has been an unusually quiet month for new procurement case law, we thought it would be interesting to see what cases have provoked the most interest among our subscribers.  To date, in 2013 the most read case reports we have published are as follows:

  • Top of the list is the Leeds arena dispute in Montpellier Estates Ltd v Leeds City Council [2013] EWHC 166 (QB) which centred on the Council’s decision to abandon a procurement process in favour of building the arena itself (see High Court finds that procurement claims either out of time or unfounded).
  • Second place goes to an interim application for specific disclosure in Roche Diagnostics Ltd v The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust [2013] EWHC 933 (TCC) in which the Trust was ordered to disclosedocuments relating to the evaluation process andthe interim contract that had been awarded to the successful bidder in respect of other work(see High Court ruling on disclosure in public procurement dispute).
  • Taking the last podium place is the Court of Session taking a look at the requirements of award criteria in Healthcare At Home Ltd v The Common Services Agency [2013] ScotCS CSIH, and finding in favour of the contracting authority, as the criteria in the ITT allowed all reasonably well-informed and normally diligent tenderers to interpret the criteria in the same way (see Scottish Court of Session confirms no lack of clarity or error in award criteria in procurement procedure).

We’ll be keeping a close eye on the cases that our subscribers are most interested in and will report later in the year on whether any new cases manage to displace the cases currently sitting at the top of the list.

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