Government body says excluding guilty firms from future tenders would be 'double jeopardy and limit competitive choice'

The business and innovation department has warned construction clients not to blacklist construction firms found guilty of bid-rigging by the Office of Fair Trading.

This is despite the fact 103 firms were found guilty of various forms of anti-competitive practice, most commonly cover-pricing, where firms collude to offer deliberately high bids when they do not want to win work.

A spokesperson for the business and innovation department said: "Anti-competitive behaviour can seriously damage the economy and it is the responsibility of all companies to ensure they comply with competition law. We support the OFT's recommendation that the firms named in the investigation should not be automatically excluded from future tenders. Many of the companies in this report have already instigated compliance procedures and to exclude them from future tenders would be double jeopardy and limit competitive choice for potential procurers."