OFT investigation prompts Construction Clients' Group to issue warning about bidders

The Construction Clients’ Group has warned clients to look out for suspicious behaviour from bidders in the wake of the OFT bid rigging investigation.

The CCG says that clients need to watch out for signs of anti-competitive practice including:

  • Identical prices
  • Lowest bidder failing to take the contract expected
  • Discounts failing to materialise.

However, Pete Cunningham, director of the Construction Clients’ Group, has also attacked clients who encourage cover pricing by forcing contractors to submit bids or risk being excluded from future work for “making the situation worse.”

The CCG advised that working collaboratively with contractors provides clients with greater safeguards against practices such as collusion, partly because collaborative working requires greater scrutiny at the selection stage than lowest price tendering.

The organisation said that one-off clients, who may not follow collaborative working, were at greater risk of suffering from collusion on their projects.