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Clarke Willmott overturns Northamptonshire Police Public contract award

We successfully acted on behalf of K2 Recovery Services (“K2”) in overturning a Northamptonshire Police contract award made pursuant to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (“PCR 2015”).

The contract award concerned a tender for the provision of vehicle recovery services for Northamptonshire Police. The contract was worth in the region of £3.6 million to K2 and covered the removal of abandoned vehicles, stolen vehicles, untaxed vehicles and uninsured vehicles throughout Northamptonshire using the Northamptonshire Police’s statutory powers.

The contract was an important one in terms of its value to K2 and would have involved the recovery of between 600 and 650 vehicles per month.

There were serious defects in the manner in which K2’s tender had been assessed and how the procurement process had been handled by the East Midlands Strategic Commercial Unit (“EMSCU”) on behalf of Northamptonshire Police. The Northamptonshire Police had breached the terms of Regulation 18 PCR 2015 namely:

“Contracting authorities shall treat economic operators equally and without discrimination and shall act in a transparent and proportionate manner”

The contract award notice itself was also defective and did not comply with Regulation 86 PCR 2015. The contract had been awarded by EMSCU to the existing service provider.

EMSCU withdrew the contract award notice without admitting any wrong doing or liability and sent the contract out for re-tender. This was all achieved without the need for litigation.

As a consequence of the retendering process, the contract has now been awarded to K2, which is naturally delighted by the result.

Richard Moore, Rebecca Powell and David Stedman acted on behalf of K2.

If you would like to discuss a potential procurement challenge please contact Richard Moore or David Stedman.


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