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Waste PFI deals to face more delays in the future, warns industry expert

The waste private finance initiative contract process will become a much slower procedure in the future, according to an industry expert.

Bank of Ireland project finance director David Shepherdson told MRW that bidders and councils will assess their procurement procedures more carefully following the decision of waste firm Sita to initiate legal action against Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority last month (see MRW story).

Sita has issued a writ at the High Court in London claiming unlimited damages from the GMWDA. It is demanding damages for the authoritys failure to award the contract to the claimant, alleging a breach of European Union procurement regulations over transparency and equal treatment.

Shepherdson said: There will be increased scrutiny of contracts and awards and the PFI process will take much longer.

He added that procurement issues will be slower rather than quicker almost hitting a dead end and councils will be asking more questions before formally awarding contracts.

With UK culture, unsuccessful bidders that lose and tend to be fed up usually have a chat with the local council afterwards and move on.

This is the first occasion that has brought in the full effect of the legal process.

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