High Court grants Sita permission to appeal in Procurement dispute

29 Mar 2010

The High Court has granted Sita leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal following their case against Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) in which GMWDA were successful in striking-out Sita’s claim on the grounds that it brought was out of time.

The case arises out of the tendering process for a PFI project to provide waste disposal facilities for Greater Manchester.  The project, the largest of its kind to have been awarded in the UK, attracted a number of tenders, which were eventually reduced to two.  GMWDA selected Viridor Laing ahead of Sita.  The final contracts between GMWDA and Viridor Laing were delayed due to changes in the specification an due the credit crunch, but were finally agreed upon.  Sita argued that following this interruption, it should have been allowed, under statutory procedures to return to the tender process.  Sita also argued that GMWDA’s decision to select the most economic tender was flawed as Viridor, unlike Sita, was offered an opportunity to amend their bid.

GMWDA sought to strike out Sita’s case as the proceedings had been commenced outside the limitation period.

Sita have been awarded leave to appeal.

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Michael Bowsher QC
Philip Woolfe