09 September 2009
UK public sector purchasing body Buying Solutions has cancelled a £150 million contract following an administrative error.
The Office of Government Commerce's commercial arm was in the process of awarding a two-year pan-government framework deal for office supplies and stationery to five vendors.
But after discovering it had failed to issue a guidance document relating to the tender, Buying Solutions wrote to the suppliers earlier this month notifying them that the deal must be cancelled because successful bidders did not have access to all relevant information.
A Buying Solutions spokeswoman said the decision to withdraw the agreement was not taken lightly. "We apologise for the inconvenience caused to both the suppliers involved and our customers," she said. "However our top priority was to protect the integrity of the procurement and we could only do that by cancelling the award and conducting a new procurement."
She added that the oversight was due to human error and that Buying Solutions hopes to submit an OJEU notice in mid-September and award a new contract by the end of the year. Buying Solutions does not expect to incur any "significant" additional costs as a result of the issue.
The suppliers involved in the cancelled agreement are Office Depot, Supplies Team, Staples, Banner Business Services and Commercial.