Volume 15 (2009) / Issue 3
The 2004 EC procurement directives made it mandatory for Member States to support EC policy against serious crime by excluding from public contracts suppliers who had been convicted of serious criminal offences. This article examines the UK’s approach to the implementation of these exclusions and provides a critical assessment of the provisions. The provisions are significant because they establish a principle for the use of public procurement to achieve EC objectives in a manner that is no longer optional for Member States. However, in implementing the provisions, it will be seen that the UK has adopted a ‘copycat’ approach to implementing the exclusions and has not clarified the lacunae in the EC procurement directives. The lack of clarity may affect the effectiveness of the provisions and lead to problems in the practical application of the exclusions. It is suggested that it may be appropriate for the EC to provide guidance to Member States on these issues. Finally, it remains to be seen whether if the mandatory exclusion prove successful, the EC will rely on a similar mechanism in the future to achieve other EC objectives.
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