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Leeds Council to act over bid rigging

Leeds Council has announced that it will take action against the building contractors found guilty by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) of colluding with competitors to charge higher prices for work.

In a statement, the council said that it would be “writing to a number of contractors this week seeking compensation”, and would consider taking further action.

It did not specify which companies would receive letters.

Artificial bids

The OFT found that 103 construction firms around the country were engaging in cover pricing, working with other firms to place artificial bids in order to secure higher prices for work.

YORbuild, a procurement consortium of local authorities in Yorkshire and Humberside, is deciding whether to blacklist firms found guilty by the OFT.

Readers' comments (2)

  • One has to ask why the purchasing officers at Leeds and other councils did not spot this problem before aearding contracts. What are the ratepayers paying these people for? For the chief executive of any council to admit such failure by members of his staff would seem to be a reason for resignation.

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  • The reference to Carillion in this article in misleading. The company cited by the OFT was "Carillion J M Ltd". This is the name that Carillion gave to the Mowlem business after it acquired that business in February 2006. The activities of Mowlem that were the subject of the OFT investigation took place before Carillion acquired Mowlem. There has never been any suggestion by the OFT that any Carillion company has been involved in anti-competitive practices.

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