MoD uses Award system to weigh air defence bids

13 November 2003
More legal news

13 November 2003 | Tom Lloyd

Commerce Decisions has been chosen by the Ministry of Defence to supply software for evaluating tenders for a major air defence system.

The software, called Award, allows users to store detailed comparative information about companies bidding for contracts.

Defence suppliers Lockheed Martin and EADS will compete in the next two years for the contract to develop the enhanced Ground Based Air Defence system, designed to improve the defence of ground forces.

Both companies will receive £40 million for the competitive assessment phase before one is selected in late 2005.

Guy Tarring, Commerce Decisions' marketing director, said Award makes it easier to evaluate their tenders.

"It also lets users demonstrate to competing bidders exactly why they lost."

Tarring noted that Award is particularly useful for complex, high-value contracts such as those issued by governments, as failed bidders in Europe are increasingly attempting to sue over the competitive process.

The Commerce Decisions deal came as the European Commission launched an eight-week consultation into the problems facing rejected bidders that want to challenge the decision.

The commission is particularly keen to hear from businesses that are concerned about the awarding of government contracts, their legal representatives and other professional bodies and non-governmental organisations.

The results of the consultation will be incorporated into a review of EU legislation on public-sector procurement, which is due to take place next year.

Fred Harvey, chairman of the CIPS EC directives committee and the EC public procurement group, which represents national procurement associations in Europe, said there had been an "increasing number of court cases" challenging the final procurement process.

He said he would like to see some form of conciliation attempt between disputing parties before a case gets to court.

* The EC consultation document is available on


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