Shocking errors on OJEU, study reveals
Half of notices placed on OJEU contain errors that could prompt a legal challenge, a study by Achilles has revealed.
Achilles’ EU services team looked at a random sample of OJEU notices submitted by a range of public sector and utility organisations, including local authorities, NHS trusts, and utility companies. Among the findings were:
• 50% of notices did not apply minimum timescales or expected tenderers, as set out in EU regulations, which could leave a buyer open to legal challenge
• 20% of notices were sent under the wrong categorisation, for example confusing services with supplies. This could also leave a buyer open to legal challenge
• 15% of organisations failed to specify that they require responses to be in English, which means they are then obliged to assess responses in any recognised EU language
• 20% of notices were completed incorrectly, in respect of providing options for the valuation or duration fields
Glenn Fletcher, director of EU Procurement from Achilles, said: "Our latest research suggests that due to the complexity of EU regulations, there is still a level of misunderstanding about OJEU notices. Getting this wrong could lead to lengthy court challenges, legal costs and damages, wasted time and potentially contracts being set-aside, deemed ineffective or suspended.
"With budgets being tightly squeezed and suppliers competing for fewer contracts, we are already seeing a rise in challenges. Buyers must be absolutely vigilant in adhering to EU rules."
The European Commission is seeking to streamline, simplify and modernise procurement directives. The aim is to promote innovation, improve carbon efficiencies and support small firms while ensuring European markets are kept open.
- Interview: Clive Mottram, head of water and regulation, Eversheds “The success of the [water] sector in delivering the investment programme that has been required, has been remarkable.... Read More >
- Partnership approach to SuDS pays off for Northumbrian Water An integrated, partnership approach to sustainable drainage, which sees Northumbrian Water work closely with local... Read More >
- Meeting the standards The Government's new standard for SuDS lacks of clarity and could delay projects, warns Jason Shingleton, Polypipe's... Read More >
- A Time to Skill: how can water face its workforce challenges? Faced with the double challenge of an ageing workforce and a potential barrier to bringing in EU talent due to Brexit, how... Read More >
- Reliability engineering key to resilience As a result of the 2014 Water Act and Ofwat, water companies are increasingly studying how resilient they might be to... Read More >
- Comment: A dynamic response to change Market changes in the water industry mean that contractors must step up play a bigger and more responsible role in... Read More >
- Interview: Prof Rudi Klein, chief executive officer, SEC Group "The wait - that is the real problem," says Professor Rudi Klein on the subject of cash retentions in construction... Read More >
- Front Line: Digging Scottish Water's Shieldhall Tunnel In this month's Front Line feature we meet Tom Rushe, who is part of a team of engineers working on Scottish Water's £100M... Read More >