Use of consultants in public procurement
Produced in partnership with Mr Andrew Millross of Anthony Collins Solicitors
Use of consultants in public procurement

The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Mr Andrew Millross of Anthony Collins Solicitors provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Use of consultants in public procurement
  • Procurement of consultants
  • Classification and valuation
  • Aggregation
  • Framework agreements
  • Conflicts of interest and prior involvement with consultants
  • Obligations of fairness when utilising a consultant
  • Prior involvement
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Conflicts of interest between consultants advising more than one bidder
  • More...

There are basically two types of consultants that are used in public procurement:

  1. consultants with technical knowledge of what is being procured (such as architects, surveyors, IT specialists etc)

  2. procurement consultants, who help manage the procurement process

The first type of consultant is used generally to:

  1. help write the specification of what is being procured

  2. work on the payment mechanism or cost model

  3. in certain procurements, evaluate the bidders' proposals for delivery of the contract

Work done by the second type of consultant typically includes:

  1. project planning and project management of the procurement process

  2. drafting procurement documents (selection questionnaire, invitation to tender, standstill letter etc)

  3. training and facilitating the selection and evaluation panels

The role of a consultant will be defined by the specification for their work. Some consultants are able to fulfil both functions.

While most procurement consultants will have their own template procurement documentation, the rapid development of public procurement law means that this should always be the subject of a proper legal check each time it is used.

This Practice Note deals with the process a contracting authority should follow when appointing consultants (which itself may be subject to the public procurement rules). It highlights issues concerning conflicts of interest (in relation to which there is some case law and ombudsman decisions) and includes some guidance on the terms of appointment of consultants.

Procurement of consultants

Classification and

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