Director in charge of competition body's bid-rigging inquiry says local authorities should feel free to take legal action against guilty firms

The OFT's senior director in charge of the bid-rigging investigation has said local authorities should feel free to take private legal action against firms found guilty of cover pricing.

Speaking on this morning's Today programme on BBC Radio 4, Simon Williams said the money collected by the OFT would go to the Treasury. However, he said: “Local authorities that can prove they are at loss aren't without redress. They can pursue private action if they want.”

This is despite the fact the OFT has issued guidance alongside its decision today urging public sector clients not to boycott or blacklist guilty firms. The guidance said it could not be guaranteed that firms not fingered in today's decision were not also engaged in blacklisting, and that the practice among named firms was historic.