Council contemplates £800k supplier settlement

23 July 2009

24 July 2009 | Jake Kanter

Leaders at Bristol City Council (BCC) could offer a supplier an £800,000 out of court settlement following a challenge to its procurement processes.

After missing out on a deal to build and run a multi-million pound leisure complex in south Bristol, a consortium led by DC Leisure Management threatened to sue the authority for the cost of its unsuccessful bid.

A council report recommended leaders agree to an out-of-court settlement to avoid a "lengthy legal situation" and any delays to the project.

The local authority has been in negotiations with DC Leisure Management to resolve the matter and members of BCC's cabinet will meet on 30 July to discuss the settlement.

The council insists its actions during the procurement process were correct.

BCC deputy leader Simon Cook said: "This current legal situation cannot be allowed to derail this crucial development. The settlement represents just 1 per cent of the lifetime cost of the project - and can be managed within the overall Hengrove Park budget."

It follows software supplier Epix Systems' plans to sue a West Yorkshire council over what it described as a "fundamentally flawed" procurement exercise (News, 9 July).

A number of lawyers have told SM litigation between buyers and suppliers will increase during the recession (News Focus, 9 July).

SMjul2009

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