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18/12/15 11:40

Tackling blacklisting

Firms excluded from bidding for public contracts.

Companies that are involved in ‘blacklisting’ will be excluded from bidding for public contracts, under new regulations being laid in the Scottish Parliament today (Friday).

From 18 April 2016, it will be a legal requirement for public bodies to exclude businesses which are found to have breached the Blacklists Regulations 2010, or which have admitted to doing so.

This will remain in force until the business has taken appropriate remedial measures, or a period of three years has elapsed since the blacklisting occurred, which is the maximum timescale allowed under EU law.

The legal requirement to exclude such companies replaces previous guidelines for public bodies which required companies seeking public sector contracts to disclose whether they have been involved in the practice.

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities said:

“We have always been clear that blacklisting in any form is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated, particularly given the serious impact it can have on the lives of those affected.

“It is important that companies who are awarded public contracts maintain high standards of business and professional conduct, and that is why we are introducing this legislation to crack down on the practice.

“Where we have control and the power to make changes, we have taken decisive action to strengthen the law, and this means that Scotland has taken greater steps to eradicate ‘blacklisting’ from public contracts than the rest of the UK.

“These changes will ensure that any company found to be involved in the practice will be excluded from bidding for public contracts.”

Notes to editors

Blacklisting is the practice of systematically denying individuals employment on the basis of information, accurate or not, held in some kind of database.

The legislation has been brought forward following a consultation on EU procurement directives which introduces a new ground for exclusion which deals with breaches of labour, social and environmental law obligations.

Consultation responses on changes to the public procurement rules in Scotland can be viewed at