Awarding Contracts in the United Kingdom

18 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2013

See all articles by Pedro Telles

Pedro Telles

Copenhagen Business School - CBS Law

Date Written: June 18, 2013


The United Kingdom has transposed Directive‭ ‬2004/18‭ ‬with minimal alterations in general and in particular in relation to the rules surrounding award criteria.‭ ‬In the United Kingdom,‭ ‬most economically advantageous tender award criteria is used in around‭ ‬90%‭ ‬of tenders,‭ ‬with the lowest price limited to a residual relevance.‭ ‬Procurement practice varies across the different home nations‭ (‬England,‭ ‬Scotland,‭ ‬Wales and Northern Ireland‭) ‬due to slightly different legal systems and local preferences.‭ ‬This split is particularly visible in horizontal policies such as the use of social criteria or the negotiation of social clauses with contractors.‭ ‬Evidence has been found of use of prior experience as an award criteria,‭ ‬pointing to possible inconsistencies with‭ ‬Lianakis.‭ ‬Although the number of procurement cases is low in the United Kingdom,‭ ‬conflicting case law has been identified regarding abnormally low tenders and award criteria disclosure.

Keywords: public procurement, public contracts, award criteria, UK, United Kingdom, England, Wales, Lianakis, Court of Justice

Suggested Citation

Telles, Pedro, Awarding Contracts in the United Kingdom (June 18, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Pedro Telles (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School - CBS Law ( email )

Porcelaenshave 18B, 1
Frederiksberg 2000

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