Litigation on the Duty Provider Contracts Tender
Members might be interested to know how the Tender litigation is going. According to the Law Society there are 114 separate claims issued by 90 different firms (or unsuccessful bidders), arising in 69 procurement areas. The MOJ applied to strike out 50 of the claims on procedural grounds and those applications will be heard in the new year. Yesterday, 16th December 2015, there was a directions hearing in the Divisional Court to consider combining the JR challenges with the Procurement law challenges. All parties were agreed that it would make sense to combine the cases, the only problem is that the Divisional Court has no jurisdiction to hear the Procurement law cases. For now, though, the DC has retained the PL cases and will hear the JRs first and there is a further directions hearing scheduled for 21 December in respect of the JRs. It is anticipated that the JRs will be concluded by the end of March 2016 and then the procurement Law cases will proceed. At present it remains the MOJ’s position that they will proceed to issue contracts in those areas where they are not prevented by the automatic “injunction” which the legal proceedings imposed, on the first of April 2016.