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Sita UK to appeal High Court decision on Greater Manchester waste PFI legal claim

Waste firm Sita UK is to launch an appeal following Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authoritys (GMWDA) successful application in the High Court to strike out the companys legal claim.

Sita is appealing the decision in the interests of fair competition and equality between tenders. In a statement, Sita confirmed its intention to appeal stating that it does not believe that GMWDA has procured the most economically advantageous tender, which it stated it would at the outset of the procurement process.

Despite striking out the claim on the grounds that the deadline for legal action had been missed, Judge Mr Justice Mann, acknowledged that there are grounds for public interest reasons for an appeal if Sita wish (see MRW story).

The GMWDA succeeded (March 28) in its High Court attempt to strike-out Sita UKs attempt to secure more than £90 million in damages over the award of the Greater Manchester waste private finance initiative, claiming that the companys attempt was started too late.

Mr Justice Mann said that Sitas claim had been brought out of time and should have commenced proceedings on April 8 2009 or shortly thereafter.

Sita originally issued legal proceedings on August 27 2009 alleging breaches of procurement regulations regarding the waste PFI contract, which was finally awarded in April 2009.

In his decision, Mr Justice Mann said that the GMWDA did not make the full necessary disclosure of what had happened after VL acquired its preferred bidder status, and to the fact that what was disclosed is said to have elements of the misleading about it.  According to the judge, GMWDAs communications were said to have been carefully crafted to supply very limited information.  He said it was a troubling point but it gave no reason to extend the time bar.


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