Q&As

If a winning bidder withdraws from a public procurement exercise following the contract award decision, must the contracting authority proceed with the procurement (awarding the contract to the next-placed bidder), or can it discontinue and re-tender?

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Published on LexisPSL on 26/04/2017

The following Public Law Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If a winning bidder withdraws from a public procurement exercise following the contract award decision, must the contracting authority proceed with the procurement (awarding the contract to the next-placed bidder), or can it discontinue and re-tender?

A contracting authority may reserve the right not to award a public contract, in which case it is best practice to set this out in the procurement documentation. In some circumstances, a contracting authority may determine that a public procurement process is no longer viable, in which case it may wish to discontinue the current process and start again, see Practice Note: Discontinuing a procurement process.

A contracting authority has a discretion to discontinue a public procurement exercise, for instance where the contracting authority:

  1. discovers an error or issue with the procedure which cannot be remedied

  2. changes its requirements, or

  3. finds aspects of the tenders that need to be evaluated, which requires a change to the award criteria (see Practice Note: Changes to award criteria and contracts)

The broad discretion for contr

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