UK Public Procurement Law Digest: Contract Extensions and the New Remedies Regime


Most people involved in UK public sector procurement will be aware by now of the new public procurement remedies regime which took effect on 20 December 2009. This Update examines the impact of the new remedies regime in situations where authorities are seeking to extend an existing public sector contract – and also provides a refresher on how to assess proposed contract extensions in terms of procurement challenge risk.

The new remedies – especially that of mandatory set-aside – pose a greater threat to authorities extending existing contracts than to first-time contract awards. Using a case study of a typical contract extension situation, this Update also explains that the best way for an authority to reduce the risk of procurement challenge to a contract extension is, perversely, to alert the market (and potential challengers) to the proposed extension. Authorities will be torn between not wanting to alert the market but needing to do so in order to reduce risk of challenge. We think that this is known as a Catch 22.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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