His Honour Judge Thornton's attempt to talk up enthusiasm for taking on the public sector ("Enemies of the State", 29 August, page 42) only examines the tip of the iceberg.
At least contractor Harmon was invited to tender for the Portcullis House cladding contract! I would argue that the major abuse of public power occurs prior to tender, at prequalification stage.

In fairness, the problem is not so much public sector officials knowingly flouting procurement regulations as reading things into them that simply aren't there. For instance, the regulations say that contracts should be awarded to the most economically advantageous tender. However, they don't say that tenderers should be selected on the basis of the most economically advantageous application to tender. But, for whatever reason, officials treat applications to tender as tenders themselves, and so one invariably finds oneself in the absurd situation of tendering for the opportunity to tender. Am I the only sane person amid this madness?

I would therefore question whether the same case law exists to offer protection to wannabe tenderers that Judge Thornton maintains exists for tenderers themselves.