Early disclosure of material documents in procurement disputes

Many procurement disputes centre on the procedure followed by those placing services out to tender. Proper disclosure of documentation about this process is therefore key to any challenge. We review a recent case that could assist in the early and efficient resolution of public procurement challenges.

In the High Court case of Roche Diagnostics Ltd v The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, the claimant (Roche) was an aggrieved bidder who had tendered unsuccessfully for the provision of laboratory services to the defendant (the Trust).

On discovering that the tender had been awarded to another bidder, Roche sought information from the Trust relating to the financial evaluation process, but was initially only provided with error-strewn documents created after the evaluation process had been completed. Upon receipt of further information, again containing multiple errors, Roche began to have doubts about the manner in which the process had been conducted and commenced proceedings challenging the fairness of the procurement exercise under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006…

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