We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Fears Kent is applying Wrong Rules to Buying Services

July 17, 2020 4:03 PM
Originally published by Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

Kent Liberal Democrat councillor Antony Hook has asked Conservative-run Kent County Council to urgently clarify its approach to awarding big contracts.

At a meeting this morning of the county's Environment & Transport Committee, Mr Hook challenged Conservative Cabinet Member for the Environment Susan Carey to include green requirements when contracts are awarded to supply services to the county.

Antony Hook at CHKent County Council has a budget of nearly £2 billion, funded by Council tax, and is one of the biggest buyers of services in the county.

Brexit supporter Ms Carey said she would look at this after launching into an attack on EU procurement rules. She claimed that EU rules, which require contracts over a certain value to be open to competition to achieve best value, have prevented the council refusing bids from companies with bad past performance.

Mr Hook said,

"I am disappointed she tried to dodge my question on the environment.

"But what she says about EU rules is wrong and this raises a serious concern about what Kent County Council under Conservative rule is doing with our money.

"EU rules do allow past performance to be considered as long as there is a fair system. This is set out at length in Regulation 57 of the Public Contract Regulations 2015.

"I have asked a senior official at KCC to urgently clarify whether they are taking past performance into account and if not, why are they failing to do so."

EU procurement rules also mean that British companies cannot be discriminated against in bidding for public contracts in the EU. A no-deal Brexit at the end of the year will mean the rules no longer apply to Britain and British companies will lose that access.

Mr Hook said,

"A no-deal Brexit at the end of 2020 will do huge damage to Kent companies and will betray people who want they best for our county whichever they voted in 2016."