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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have recently submitted a tender for a catering franchise

I have recently submitted a... Show More

I have recently submitted a tender for a catering franchise which I marked private and confidential. I have found out that although the company say that only people entitled to read it, saw it the document was shown in a public area i.e the club bar. Is this allowed?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
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replied 3 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

What is it you would like to achieve please?

Customer:

I need an answer to go back to the committee with as we are in dispute with the way the tender process was dealt with

Alex Watts :

Yes, but have you lost the tender as a result?

Alex Watts :

I need to know what is it you want to achieve out of this.

Alex Watts :

They wont be able to award this to you based on this fact alone, it would have to be on the normal merits.

Alex Watts :

But I need to know what do you want as a result?

Customer:

I have lost the tender

Alex Watts : Ok. But I assume it wasn't because of this information.
Alex Watts : I need to understand what you want to achieve as a result of this process?
Customer:

it is thought that 1 of the people that read the tender may of passed info to the winner of the tender process and we need to know if is worth trying to prove if this is the case.

Alex Watts : Oh I see. But aren't the tenders sealed until the deadline?
Customer:

no they were opened on receipt. The problem is that I was the franchisee and had to re tender under contract rules. The tender that won was submitted by a friend of the captain of the golf club and something is not right

Alex Watts : Ok. Is there a standstill period at the moment?
Customer:

No the franchise has been awarded to them

Alex Watts : Ok. Do you have any evidence that it was show to the competitor ?
Customer:

no

Alex Watts : Why didn't you challenge during the standstill period?
Customer:

what is the standstill period

Alex Watts : The period after they announce the award.
Customer:

the award was announced last Thursday so I suppose now is the standstill period. today is the first time I have been able to speak to them. I told them I was not happy that the tender was viewed in the bar to which they apologised

Alex Watts : Ok well you can apply to the court to extend the standstill time.
Alex Watts : However in order to have the process rerun you need to show they have not followed the process as set out in their own tender document.
Alex Watts : You also need to show they breached their own guidelines and more important that they allow the competition to see your tender.
Alex Watts : Usually tenders are marked after the closing period and therefore no one can see the other as they are marked.
Alex Watts : So you need some evidence to also show that your competitor saw your document.
Alex Watts : Or that the council did not follow their own process and that meant you were marked down
Alex Watts : If regardless of the fact it was seen in public, if it meant the marks would have been the same and would have made no difference then this challenge would have failed.
Alex Watts : So you need to be very careful and examine the tender document to make sure the process was followed and nail your colours to the mast.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer:

are we entitled to see the competitors tender document to see if there are similarities or any evidence that they have submitted things they could not have known without being given this information. are we within our rights to see our own tender document to see if they have marked it as they should.

Alex Watts : No.
Alex Watts : You will get their marks against yours but the document can not be disclosed to you.
Alex Watts : a
Alex Watts : It will only be disclosed if you take the matter to court, then it becomes a discloseable document
Alex Watts : Does that clarify ?
Customer:

thanks that makes things a little clearer