Blacklisting Needs Kid Gloves

Blacklisting Needs Kid Gloves

June 28, 2022

In the UK’s House of Lords debate on procurement reform, there was some forthright questioning within the government on whether Bain and Company, who had been found to have acted illegally in South Africa, should still be engaged by the UK Government. The exchange raises the question of how the blacklisting of suppliers is intended to work.

Should a local company that was found to have acted illegally in a foreign country automatically be blacklisted? What if the offending company was a local subsidiary of a global company, as is the case with Bain and Company? Why should an independent organisation be tarred with the actions of a team that they have the misfortune to share a brand with? Or should we assume that a company that fails to prevent this sort of crime should not be trusted regardless of location?

What if the country in question does not have an independent judiciary? Or if the company maintains that any findings against them are spurious? These problems may be enough to decide to keep all blacklisting local, but if a company was proudly supporting the Russian government against the interests of our ally Ukraine, then buyers would want the power to be able to exclude them from tenders.

Then there’s the question of scale, what if a highly valued supplier with multiple, high-value, national contracts is found to have broken the law in a contract with a small local council? Can the government turn a blind eye to their malfeasance, but would a blanket ban be a reasonable response? What if a supplier has held perfectly legitimate meetings with senior staff and Ministers in a department? Does excusing them from debarment create problems concerning favouritism?

Governments that want to blacklist suppliers need to be ready to answer all of these questions and more. It won’t be hard for lawyers to draft up the reasons for blacklisting a supplier, it will be down to Ministers to decide when to use that power, and above all to justify the decisions they make.

Get in touch, to talk to us about our global procurement data, our data API, or our research capabilities.

November 29, 2022

Data and Public Procurement.

There are some good reasons for including procurement data in your alternative data strategy. Governments are big and getting bigger. Before the...
November 29, 2022

Ensuring Data Integrity.

Not all data is the same. It might have come from the same source, but how it gets treated is vital. If...
November 24, 2022

Govt Issues £4.2bn Tender To Update Legacy Services

Crown Commercial Services together with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), have released a contract notice for the Digital and Legacy Application Services...
November 22, 2022

‘Unboxing’ £120 Million Of Public Spend

It may have been branded twice, but it seems nothing could save The Festival of Brexit, AKA Unboxed, from tanking in the...
November 17, 2022

We Sell Data, Not Seats.

Why we sell data not seats? We're data analysts. We really understand the data we gather. We've been doing it for 15...
November 15, 2022

Saab Voices Opposition To Canadian Gov Procurement

The Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) agency has begun negotiating the final terms of delivery with Lockheed on an order from...
November 10, 2022

Your Data, Your Rules

If your company is hiring data analysts, you need data. You don’t need a login to a website which restricts the queries...
November 28, 2022

Life Moves Pretty Fast

We've been talking for a while about AI and possible impacts on procurement. We use AI in our own service to almost...
October 27, 2022

Lessons Learned In Public Procurement

The National Audit office is working on a Lessons Learned report, highlighting opportunities for change in public procurement. Topics will include commercial and...
October 20, 2022

Does Your Data Have Integrity?

Not all data is the same. It might have come from the same source, but how it gets treated is vital. If...
October 13, 2022

Australian Government Covid Procurement Findings

As the world emerges from the pandemic, governments are reviewing their procurement of Covid related goods and services. The Australian Government tasked...
October 11, 2022

Hungary Passes Transparency Bills.

Last week, Hungary's government passed the first two of 17 anti-corruption legislation bills, in a bid to avoid losing €7.5bn in financing...
October 6, 2022

Babcock Lands Polish Defence Contracts.

The UK Government has this week signed major major defence equipment agreements with Poland’s military capability. At the Zamość Military Base in...
October 4, 2022

New enRichMyData project offers innovative solutions for data enrichment

Several European and international organisations, covering large corporations, SMEs, research centres and universities, are joining forces to develop new methods and tools...
September 29, 2022

£900k Government Fund To Help Charities Win Public Contracts.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is running a Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Contract Readiness Fund grant...


Compelling research, insights and data directly into your inbox.

Recent media stories


Scroll to Top