Firm takes Westminster to court over parking contract
A HIGH court challenge has been launched against Westminster Council relating to allegations of favouritism in awarding its �50million parking contract. Parking enforcement firm Apcoa has brought the case against City Hall after the council halted a tend
A HIGH court challenge has been launched against Westminster Council relating to allegations of favouritism in awarding its �50million parking contract.
Parking enforcement firm Apcoa has brought the case against City Hall after the council halted a tender process for the contract amid claims the procedure was flawed in March 2009. The council then began a new round of tenders and in February this year announced that the engineering firm Mouchel had won the bid.
But Acpoa now allege that Westminster broke the law by using an "unannounced criteria" in choosing their preferred bidder and claim they would have won if the process had been fair.
Bosses at the French private equity company, best known for running parking at Gatwick and Heathrow, are demanding that the council either awards them the contract or else compensate them for loss of profits.
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Papers from the lawsuit state: "The claimant's case is that the exercise ought to have been (and ought now to be) re-run in a manner that is fair... the claimant claims damages in any event."
But Kevin Goad, head of commissioning for city management, denied the allegations. He said: "Westminster Council stopped the procurement process for its on street parking enforcement following the discovery of a flaw in the contract process.
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"This flaw came to light as a result of debriefing the different bidders. To be fair and transparent to those involved in the process we, as a result, decided to end the procurement process.
"We have now started a new accelerated procurement process with a successful tenderer expected to be announced next month.
"As part of procurement process the council reserves the right not to award a contract and we remain confident this claim will be dismissed.