- Where a breach is sufficiently serious to justify an award of damages, additional cost to the taxpayer is an ordinary consequence of the operation of public procurement law (Circle Nottingham v NHS)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Local Government analysis: In Covanta Energy v Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, Couldson J said that ‘it cannot be in the public interest for taxpayers to make two payments for one service’ when applying the public interest test to the facts of that case, and determining whether the balance of convenience lay in suspending the public contract award or lifting the automatic suspension. While agreeing that there may be circumstances where there was a double hit (payment to the successful contractor, and potentially also damages to the unsuccessful contractor), in this instance the judge saw the potential for such duplication as being necessary to achieve proper compliance with public procurement legislation. He also applied real rigour to challenge the notion that compensation can never be adequate for certain heads of loss. Written by Louise Huson, procurement lawyer at DLA Piper.
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