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The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority launches new tool to assist public procurers in the detection of bid-rigging

  • Ireland
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In March, we reported on the increased focus by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on bid-rigging in public procurement and plans to develop, together with the OGP, a screening tool to assist in the detection and deterrence of bid-rigging in public tenders. See our briefing here.

Deterring cartel behaviour in public procurement is also high on the agenda for the UK’s competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which has just launched a new tool to help procurers screen tender data for signs of pricefixing. The tool aims to spot illegal cartel activity and save money for procuring organisations and, ultimately, tax-payers. According to the CMA, having a cartel in a supply chain can increase prices by 30 per cent or more.

Using a series of algorithms which are applied to the data (including the tender documentation and bid prices) from a tender exercise, the tool tests for suspicious signs in three key areas: 

  • the number and pattern of bidders;
  • pricing patters; and
  • document origin and low endeavour submissions (ie tenders which display little sign of effort to actually win the contract).

Any of the above, or a combination of them, could be a sign of bid-rigging and cause for further investigation.

The CMA has made the tool freely available to procuring authorities to download as an app to use within their own systems. Further information on the tool can be found here.

For more information contact

Áine Smith
+353 1 6441 474

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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