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Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Procurement and Outsourcing Journal: January/February 2015

Ruth Smith and Jenny Beresford-Jones review the government’s approach to implementing the new EU procurement directive

Readers of this journal will have been keen to hear news of how the UK intends to implement what is the biggest shake-up in procurement law for a decade. The new EU public procurement Directive (the Directive) came into force in April 2014, giving the UK a two-year timeframe in which to implement it.

Jo Rickards and Johanna Walsh take a look at the UK government’s anti-corruption initiatives for 2015

Anti-corruption compliance should by now be as entrenched in the thinking of UK companies and their staff as anti-money laundering requirements. Currently very much in vogue, it is the new anti-money laundering in the same way that 40 is the new 30 and brown is the new black. Over the past five years a great deal of effort has gone into raising awareness about the effects of corruption and the criminal courts have seen many more prosecutions for corruption, both at home and abroad, than in the previous decade. As we go into 2015 anti-corruption is still in fashion, remaining high on the government’s list of priorities; a plan for the future was published at the end of last year and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has also carried out its own assessment of the risks of corruption in the regulated sector.

James Falle and Catherine Haugh consider when authorities can or must allow bidders to correct errors in their tenders

Imagine this scenario: you spend weeks preparing a tender for a particularly important contract. After burning much midnight oil, you submit your tender and are quietly confident of your chances. Then the bombshell lands: the authority informs you that due to a clerical error your tender has been rejected.

Rebecca Rees and Lucy Doran explore the Fastweb case and the repercussions for contracting authorities

A European procurement case published in 2014 has whipped away the fig leaf that voluntary transparency notices (VTNs) potentially provided to contracting authorities worried about their contracts being declared ineffective.

Karen McGill and Robin Fallas report on procurement and the living wage post-Dortmund

There has, in recent years, been an increased focus on the extent to which procurement can drive social and/or sustainability agendas, albeit that the ability to include social and environmental considerations has for some time now been confirmed, within certain legal boundaries, as quite legitimate. The case law goes back at least as far as the 1988 case of Gebroeders Beenjtes BV v State of the Netherlands, which focused on free trade principles and measures to employ disadvantaged persons.

Julian Yew and Georgina Hedges outline a recent case of an outgoing supplier being fined for failure to provide accurate employee liability information

An incoming supplier is entitled to ‘employee liability information’ (ELI) from the outgoing supplier under Reg 11(1), TUPE 2006 (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (as amended)). For service provision changes taking place on or after 1 May 2014, the ELI must be provided not less than 28 days before the transfer. A salutary warning of the consequences for failure was highlighted in a recent case where the outgoing supplier was fined a substantial amount for failure to comply with their statutory obligations. This article will explore the case and share some practical tips on managing the due diligence process.

Helen Prandy charts the rise and fall of English common law principles in procurement challenges

All in all, 2014 was an interesting year for those involved in procurement disputes, with several interesting themes emerging. For example, one issue in procurement disputes which I expect to see more of, particularly in the utilities sector, is further exploration of the complex relationship between the principles of EU competition law and the principles of EU procurement law.