Risks are increasing for those involved in cartel activity in the UK and in particular bid-rigging in public procurement. The UK Government has recently introduced to Parliament the Procurement Bill 2022 which includes a new exclusion from public procurement and debarment regime for cartelists. If enacted, the legislation will mean that companies that engage in price fixing, market sharing, bid rigging or other cartel activities could face mandatory exclusion by a contracting authority from public procurements for up to 5 years. They are also at risk of being included on the central debarment register which would result in them automatically being excluded from all public procurement contracts for up to 5 years. This article outlines the proposed changes and how the Procurement Bill protects and enhances incentives to apply for leniency by providing protection against exclusion for those companies that are the first to report a cartel to the CMA under its leniency programme. The article also looks at other ways that risks for cartelists are increasing; both in terms of the risk of detection from the CMA’s intelligence work and the tough sanctions (both corporate and individual) that the CMA can apply.

By Juliette Enser, Georgina Laverack & Victoria Siguan-Cervera[1]

 

The stakes are getting higher for those involved in cartel activity in the UK and in particular bid-rigging in public procurement. In this article we will outline the Government’s proposed n

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