European Commission requests UK to review public contracts

The European Commission has decided to send a further request to the United Kingdom concerning the award of a number of services contracts by the Glasgow Housing Association relating to the management of its housing stock. In the Commission's view, these contracts were awarded without a competitive tendering process as required under EU public procurement rules.

This formal request takes the form of a "reasoned opinion", the second stage of the infringement procedure laid down in Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If there is no satisfactory reply within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

Public service contracts awarded without competitive tender
In the context of the social housing transfer process which is taking place in the city of Glasgow, the Glasgow Housing Association, a Registered Social Landlord, has awarded a number of services contracts to various Local Housing Organisations relating to the management of its housing stock, which are known as "Remodelled Management Arrangements" (RMAs). These contracts were awarded without a tendering process having been carried out.

The Commission considers that the RMAs constitute public service contracts and as such should have been awarded on the basis of an open and transparent tendering process in accordance with the requirements and procedures envisaged in Public Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC. The Commission therefore is of the opinion that in the absence of such a tendering process, the United Kingdom has failed to fulfil its obligations under the Directive.

Article eGovMonitor, source : European Commission