Procurement — a case law update

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This note is a reminder, by reference to two recently reported cases, of the time limits within which challenges under the Public Contract Regulations 2006 (the Regulations) may be brought, the difficulties which a lack of information creates, and the court’s approach.

Under regulation 47D of the regulations, the general time limit for starting proceedings, where the proceedings do not seek a declaration of ineffectiveness, is 30 days beginning with the date on which the economic operator first knew or ought to have known that grounds for starting the proceedings had arisen.

Under regulation 32 of the regulations, a contracting authority is required to give written notice to tenderers and candidates of its decision to award a contract or conclude a framework agreement as soon as possible after making the decision. Under regulation 32A, the contracting authority must not enter into the contract or conclude the framework agreement before the end of the standstill period, which, depending on the method of delivery of the notice, ends at midnight at the end of the 10th day or 15th day after the sending of the notice. In that standstill period the contracting authority’s decision can be challenged…

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