The European Commission and the United Kingdom government have settled the inquiry into whether the procurement of the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood infringed EU public procurement rules (see previously No 447): in particular by employing an architect who did not have professional insurance adequate to cover the project, and in the award of the contract to the highest of all the shortlisted bids for the project (that of Bovis Lend Lease).  See the Commission’s press release of 12 October 2006,


According to The Scotsman for 12 October, it was eventually accepted on all sides that, while the procurement rules were indeed broken, it was all in good faith”; and the Executive has now put into place a system to ensure better compliance with the procurement rules in the Scottish public sector (this following a report in March 2006 by John McClelland (ex-IBM) finding that compliance in Scotland was not what it should be and making various recommendations to improve the situation).

On the “good faith” aspect of this