Recent Developments in Public Procurement Law in the UK

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Evaluation criteria and weighting: disclosure and transparency are mandatory, not discretionary

In the past, it has been common for authorities to disclose only top-level evaluation criteria and weightings during the early stages of regulated public sector procurements. That approach may have to change in the light of a 2008 case. A Court has upheld a bidder’s procurement challenge on the grounds that a contracting authority breached the procurement regulations because it did not disclose in the tender documents all of the contract award criteria and their respective weightings. The effect of this case will be to require authorities to decide on evaluation criteria (including, crucially, any sub-criteria) earlier in their procurement exercises, to disclose those criteria and sub-criteria, and to stick to them. Many authorities will regard this as a reduction in flexibility.

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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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