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.
- A glass half-full? Bringing water costs down for utility customers Mark Bullock, Balfour Beatty chief executive officer for rail and utilities, says the water sector must change its... Read More >
- INWED 2019: 'Each step was driven by choosing work I enjoy' To mark International Women in Engineering Day 2019 on 23 June, Fiona Barbour discusses her journey to becoming Mott... Read More >
- Interview: Kier Utilities' water MD Nigel Dyer Kier Utilities' Nigel Dyer tells Robin Hackett how the company is evolving to meet the changing demands on the water... Read More >
- Comment: New tech and partnerships will up the ante on leakage Closer partnerships, technology and connectivity will be the key to tackling leakage, with collaborative delivery... Read More >
- The search for safer streetworks practices Amey Utilities' HSEQ director, Gerry Mulholland, explains how the company’s 2020 Challenge and Know What’s Below... Read More >