This was the question faced by the High Court in the recent case of KA v MA. In it the Judge...
The public sector as a customer – or potential customer — for UK businesses is enormously important, especially when other parts of the economy are under pressure. At the same time the need for the public sector to deliver savings against a background of reduced budgets means that public sector purchasers are themselves looking at ways to streamline their own procurement processes, to drive down cost and to maximise upside for the taxpayer.
And all this against a background where increasingly complex and evolving EU procurement regulations are directly affecting everyone in the UK involved in the supply of goods, works and services to the public sector.
Bidding for, and securing, contracts with the public sector can be a difficult, time consuming and expensive business. Formal procurement processes, tight regulatory controls and existing framework arrangements can present major obstacles to market entry, even for experienced businesses with a track record of success elsewhere. But the rewards for successful bidders are significant.
With its knowledge and experience of the public procurement process, Birkett Long is able to help businesses understand the process, develop effective and compliant tenders, negotiate successfully with public procurement teams, manage risk, finalise contract terms and secure all-important repeat orders.
On the public sector side, Birkett Long can help procurement teams keep up to date with regulatory requirements, advise on the establishment and operation of effective procurement models, scoping of OJEU notification, providing guidance through the procurement process and working with our clients to achieve the award of economically advantageous contracts. Birkett Long is also able to advise on measures to manage and minimise risk for the public sector where procurement processes are not followed or in the event of bidder challenge.
If something goes wrong in the process we can advise on the steps available to the parties. We can advise on appropriate appeals on decisions and court proceedings which can be issued.
- Advice on pre-qualification and tender preparation
- Bid submission and negotiation including participation in competitive dialogue
- Contract finalisation and award
- Getting on to frameworks
For Procuring Bodies
- Advice on procurement options including restricted, open, negotiated and competitive dialogue
- OJEU notification and drafting
- Preparation of tender documentation
- Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQ) and bid evaluation
- Scoring matrices
- Contract award
- Procurement challenge risk management
- Contract variations
For Unsuccessful Tenderers
- Advise on the grounds for challenge
- Advise the options available to challenge decisions
- Representation in court proceedings challenging the awards
- Advising a higher education college in relation to the award of a contract for the construction of new campus buildings
- Advising a healthcare provider concerning the obligations of the NHS prior to awarding an extension to a service contract
- Amended and updated documentation relating to a facilities maintenance contract for a procurement consultant
- Advised a special purpose vehicle, set up on behalf of a Government agency to deliver business advice, on the terms of its contract in connection with proposals to put further business services out to tender.
Tracey heads Birkett Long’s Commercial and Corporate Finance Team and advises clients on all manner of procurement issues and in particular specialises in the drafting of pre-qualification questionnaires (“PQQs”) and tenders, and associated scoring matrixes.
Peter heads the Birkett Long Commercial Department and advises clients on contentious public procurement issues. He has advised a number of unsuccessful tenderers on how to challenge awards and overtime public procurement processes and contract awards.
The “very astute” (The Legal 500) Philip George has led the Birkett Long team on a number of major public procurements across a range of sectors. As well as Managing Partner at Birkett Long his work as board member for a major regional business start up agency gives Philip a unique insight into the business of successful competitive tendering.