Losing Vendor Litigation . . . It was just a matter of time?!

Posted on August 3, 2011


Tendered for a major contract and got rejected? Feel that the process was unfair? Compensation? Our Solicitors can help NO WIN/NO FEE call 0792 12 606 14 (Matt)

from the Twitter Profile @TenderDispute

You know I have often made reference to Huxley’s “sea of irrelevance” lamentation regarding truth as it pertains to the vastness of the Internet.  Specifically, and at any given time during any given day, there is a plethora of material and happenings reported in the virtual world upon which to base a blog post.

For me, the prerequisite to write is based on my being moved in such a fashion that I can find the unique twist or lens through which I can enable you my readers to view a particular subject.  Some days, it feels as if the virtual realm is jam packed with interesting tidbits of information that tweak my curiosity in a rapid fire succession, while on other days when it seems that even though the information buffet is packed full there is little that tickles my fancy.

Perhaps you might think that I am a bit fussy in this regard but, I made a promise when I first started to blog that I would only post when I had something worthwhile to share rather than just looking to fill space which I believe would ultimately waste everyone’s time.

Lo and behold, while today was what I would consider a slow day in the world of procurement, I received inspiration through the unexpected source of a Twitter Follow.  That’s right . . . Twitter.

What is even more amazing is that it wasn’t in the form of a self-promoting editorial or part of a breaking news headline.  It was simply the Twitter name in and of itself that did it for me.  If I smoked, I would light a cigarette now.

Think about it for just a minute.  Here we have what I would call an undercurrent problem with the public sector tendering process in which award disputes for all intents and purposes are limited to a legal system that favors those organizations with deep enough pockets to pursue a remedy through the courts or, the submission of a complaint to a review panel within the government itself.  I do not have the data at the present time but I wonder how many contract awards have actually been overturned and then redirected to the complaining vendors coffers?  We will get to this latter point in a moment.

Suffice to say, and similar to patrons who receive poor service or bad food at a restaurant, the majority of dissatisfied vendors are more than likely just going to walk away grumbling about a rigged system in which the winning supplier is actually determined before the RFP is issued.  In short, it is unlikely that they will ever bid on another government opportunity in the foreseeable future.

So here is the million dollar question . . . who really are the vendors that would seek the services of a firm such as @TenderDispute and, under what circumstances would they turn to the courts for a remedy?

For those who have followed and enjoyed my theme-centric weekly series’ this week’s Losing Vendor Litigation posts will examine this perhaps unpleasant yet interesting aspect of the government tendering process.

In tomorrow’s post I will examine the numbers in terms of what percentage of complaints actually result in not just a reversal but an award to the vendor who challenged the outcome, and the circumstances that led to the protest being filed in the first place.