BT and NHS National Services Scotland settle contract dispute

Paul Snell is managing editor at Supply Management
27 November 2014

BT and NHS National Services Scotland have settled a court dispute over the award of a £110 million telecoms contract.

Earlier this year BT had attempted to overturn the award of the contract to Capita to create a single telecoms service – the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) - which potentially could be accessed by any public sector organisation in Scotland, demanding a re-run of the tender process or £20 million in damages.

In a joint statement, the two organisations said they had “agreed a pragmatic way forward which both consider will bring additional benefits for SWAN users and also use the combined strengths of both the SWAN and BT networks.”

“Both parties are pleased to have reached a successful conclusion and look forward to working together to deliver communications networks and services which meet the needs of Scotland’s public sector,” it added.

BT had claimed a breach of the public procurement regulations, alleging the scoring of the bids in the tender process was not transparent. But the judge said while there had been a breach of the regulations, he said damages would be an adequate remedy and allowed the contract award to proceed.

The deal could be worth up to £325 million depending on the public bodies that take up the contract.

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