Judge lifts contract award block in dispute over £19 million waste tender

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
18 February 2014

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18 February 2014 | Will Green

A judge has granted an order allowing South Lanarkshire Council to award a contract to manage waste in a dispute with an unsuccessful tenderer.

The Scottish local authority had applied to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to lift the block on the contract award after Patersons of Greenoakhill Ltd challenged the reasons they were unsuccessful in a competition for a two-year contract worth £19 million to sort, recycle and dispose of municipal waste.

The company, which was rejected at the first of a two-stage evaluation process, claimed a number of failings in the exercise, including debrief letters that did not comply with regulations, a failure to take into account considerations relevant to the quality evaluation, and a failure by the council to identify the most economically advantageous tender.

In his ruling the judge, Lord Tyre, said his “assessment is that each of the grounds invoked by the pursuers is weak” and there were “clear advantages to the defenders and to the public whose interests they represent in the certainty of having in place, with effect from the expiry of the current arrangements, a contract on the terms desired by the defenders when they invited tenders”.

The invitation to tender was published in July 2013 and the new contract is due to come into force on 1 April.

Lord Tyre added: “I consider that the remedy of damages will afford, in the circumstances of this case, an adequate remedy if the action succeeds.”

After the hearing Paul Manning, South Lanarkshire Council’s executive director of finance and corporate resources, said: “We welcome the decision which will let us continue with our plan to secure quality work at the right price for this tender.”

The council said contract to run waste services, which was in two lots covering different geographical areas, was awarded to Viridor and Levenseat.

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