SCOTTISH COURTS this week dismissed legal action brought against the Scottish Executive over the bidding process for major regional road maintenance and operating contracts.
Five of the bidders for the four £18M-£26M regional maintenance and operating packages, the Clyde Solway, Tayside, Caledonian Road Council, Neulink and Seup consortia, have been seeking a judicial review of the Scottish Executive's tender documents (NCE 11 January).
According to a senior member of Clyde Solway Consortium's bidding team, the documents 'lacked transparency and were anti competitive'. Complaints centred on:
Failure to specify quantities until after bids were submitted, making it impossible for bidders to calculate costs accurately The absence of any time scale for provision of items or services It was unclear whether bidders were to quote for one year, or the full five years over which the contract was to run The Scottish Executive's focus on minimum quality and lowest cost Members of the five consortia are mainly local authorities.
They protested that the selection criteria made no allowance for for their experience in looking after Scottish roads.
Clyde Solway's case was dismissed by Lord Penrose last Friday last week on the grounds that, though misleading, the Scottish Executive's tender procedure was not unlawful.
It has now gone to the court of appeal.
The Scottish Executive was due to announce award of contracts as NCE went to press. Rival bidders believed that Amey Highways and the Bear Scotland consortia had, between them, secured all of the work.