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.

March 21, 2023

AUKUS Defence Procurement Deal

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joined the US President Joe Biden, and the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, in San Diego this...
March 14, 2023

Australian Government Responds to COVID-19 Procurement Review

Many governments around the world have faced pressure regarding their procurement of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, so it is encouraging to see...
March 8, 2023

EU Joint Ammunition Procurement

EU ministers will meet today in Stockholm to decide whether to  jointly procure  ammunition to aid Ukraine and replenish domestic stockpiles. EU...
March 7, 2023

Denial Of Service By Wall Of Text

Clarkesworld Magazine is a publisher of science fiction short stories. They accept and pay for submissions from anyone. As of last week,...
March 1, 2023

Canadian Government Announces Rail Procurement Process

This week, the Canadian Government announced a major step in the procurement process for their High Frequency Rail project: the launch of...
February 28, 2023

Deduplication Routines

Deduplication is a deceptively complex problem to handle at scale. There’s a simple, ugly and brutal way to do it, where you...
February 23, 2023

Policy Proposal: Analysts In Place

Data is critical to the functioning of government. Policies and services live or die on the quality of data. Successes and failures...
February 23, 2023

Hallucination As A Service

I asked Chat-GPT to find me some academic papers that highlight the usefulness of combining two different machine learning techniques. I hoped...
February 20, 2023

Future Trends in Government Procurement

Over the years, government procurement has undergone significant changes, with new trends emerging that are reshaping the way governments buy goods and...
February 15, 2023

Making Your Own Export Platform?

If you are building your own export platform, sourcing, organising and analysing your data has its challenges. Here are some of the...
February 14, 2023

Tackling Modern Slavery in Supply Chains – Guidance

On 26 March 2020, the UK became the first country to publish a Government Modern Slavery Statement, setting out the steps government...
February 8, 2023

Securing The Competitive Edge.

Are you an exporter looking for leads for your exporters? Do you want to help your in-country teams build more partnerships within...
February 7, 2023

The Benefits of Data Tech 101

Government procurement, the process by which government entities purchase goods, services and works from private businesses, is being revolutionised by the integration...
February 1, 2023

EU Awards New Gas Aggregation Contract

In December 2022, EU energy ministers agreed to create a platform for the collective demand aggregation and joint procurement of gas, with...
January 25, 2023

Does Procurement Need Blockchain?

Blockchain is fundamentally a database, but rather than a database where one item is allowed to replace another, each change to the...


Compelling research, insights and data directly into your inbox.

Recent media stories