I was pleased to read James Bessey’s article (How to look good in public, 9 April, page 47)
What a revelation that Building has at last recognised the relevance of the Public Contract Regulations 2006 and that local authorities are obliged to follow them.
I would agree that some of the procedures we in local government procurement must follow are overly prescriptive and do not always allow us to follow the paths we would choose but, nevertheless, these are legal requirements and we have no option but to follow them.
Recent case law may suggest that local authorities that do not follow the European Procurement Legislation (the Public Contract Regulations 2006 are part of this) may be at increased risk of having action taken against them by unsuccessful tenderers. Will this be a growth industry in the recession?
So spare a thought for those who work within this legislative framework day in, day out. We have to satisfy the procurement needs of our respective authorities while ensuring compliance with a complex web of legal requirements. And the penalty for failing is either you buy something you didn’t really want or you risk a legal challenge from a variety of directions.
John Ryding, procurement and projects manager, West Lancashire council