UK Public Procurement Law Digest: Removing Mandatory Suspensions

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Since the new UK public procurement remedies regime came into force, we have been waiting for examples of how the courts will deal with the new mandatory suspension remedy. We now have the answer. Two new court decisions illustrate the way in which UK courts will deal with applications by contracting authorities to remove the automatic mandatory suspension that applies to a public procurement process when a challenge is made by an aggrieved bidder.

As we have previously reported, under the new Remedies Regime which came into force in December 2009, where an aggrieved bidder in a public procurement process challenges a contracting authority’s decision by formally initiating legal proceedings before the award of contract, the contracting authority is now legally obliged to suspend its procurement process. This automatic suspension of the procurement process essentially turns the tables by requiring the contracting authority facing the legal challenge to make an application for an interim order to lift the automatic suspension if it wishes to continue the procurement.

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