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Public procurement: Commission sends formal request to United Kingdom over award of contract for development of land in city of York

Commission Européenne - IP/09/1000   25/06/2009

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IP/09/1000

Brussels, 25 June 2009

Public procurement: Commission sends formal request to United Kingdom over award of contract for development of land in city of York

The European Commission has decided to send a formal request to the United Kingdom concerning the award of a public works concession contract by the City of York Council relating to the residential development of a piece of land known as "Osbaldwick". 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.

The City of York Council awarded this contract without having carried out a tendering process. The Commission considers that the contract in question constitutes a public works concession contract and as such should have been awarded, on the basis of the public procurement Directive applicable at the time (93/37/EEC), following the publication of a concession notice in the Official Journal of the European Union and the completion of a tendering process. Such a tendering process would have to have been compatible with Treaty principles of freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services as well as those of equal treatment, non-discrimination and transparency. 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 EU public procurement rules.

Although the United Kingdom has changed its initial position and now accepts that the development agreement does constitute a works concession which should have been tendered out in accordance with EU rules, no measures have been introduced to bring to an end this infringement. Furthermore, no sufficient and adequate measures have been introduced to ensure that the award of future land development agreements will be compliant with the applicable EU rules.

The latest information on infringement proceedings concerning all Member States can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/community_law/index_en.htm


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