Tribunals would be cheaper and quicker than going to court ©  TkKurikawa/Getty Images
Tribunals would be cheaper and quicker than going to court © TkKurikawa/Getty Images

Procurement tribunals could be introduced in UK, says lawyer

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
23 July 2020

The introduction of procurement tribunals to settle tender disputes could be an outcome of Brexit, according to a lawyer.

A report on procurement challenges in 2020, by procurement services organisation Fusion21, said regulations were likely to be “amended and replaced quite quickly” in the event of a no-deal exit at the end of the year.

Rebecca Rees, partner at law firm Trowers and Hamlins, predicted the government would explore procurement tribunals.

“It would be cheaper and quicker than going to the High Courts each time a contractor wants to challenge, which is inevitably going to mean more challenges, but should be dealt with more quickly and easily,” she said.

Contributors to the report agreed the government would place more emphasis on supply chain management following the UK’s departure.

Rees said: “The Cabinet Office are really keen to see procurement as an enabler. So I think their overall thrust is to make sure people use procurement in a flexible, result-orientated, solution-orientated manner. Value for money will be the aim of the resulting procurement regime.”

The report highlighted the key challenges for procurement posed by coronavirus, the Grenfell disaster, Brexit, and the move to net zero carbon emissions.

Collaboration, early market engagement, strategic thinking, and listening to residents’ voices were “key to future-proofing procurement”, said the report.

“The experts have referred to the need for organisations to take a ‘leap of faith’ in terms of adopting whole-life costings and procuring innovative products and technologies,” said the report.

“Doing so will shift perceptions around procurement – no longer a team simply necessary for compliance and saving the pennies, it will be a truly valued strategic function.”

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