BT to sue NHS Scotland for £20m in damages after losing out on £110m contract

By Sooraj Shah
12 Feb 2014 View Comments
BT has introduced its first 21CN service for global organisations

BT will embark on legal proceedings against NHS Scotland after losing its bid to have a second chance at the £110m Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) contract that it had initially lost out on.

The two organisations had already been in court over the tender process, which BT had suggested was not conducted properly, resulting in the telecoms giant reportedly losing out to a partnership of Capita and Updata. The only other bidder was a collaboration between Cable & Wireless and Virgin Media Business.

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But the judge of the initial ruling, Lord Malcolm, ruled in favour of NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), leaving BT to fight for damages.

"Though BT's primary aim was always to seek a re-run of the procurement process, the case will now proceed as a damages claim, Lord Malcolm having found damages to be an appropriate remedy for BT to seek for that breach," a BT spokesperson said.

"We believe that it will now be unclear whether the most economically advantageous tender will be awarded.

"We believe our proposal offered excellent value and minimal risk to Scottish taxpayers. Our bid was more than £10m below the price for which maximum points could be awarded under the NSS scoring process," the spokesperson added.

It has been reported that BT could sue NHS Scotland for in the region of £20m in damages.

An NHS Scotland spokesperson said it was great news that BT was stepping aside from the procurement.

"This is great news for the Scottish taxpayer, and anyone who uses public services, whether in schools, councils, hospitals or elsewhere. The SWAN project is a major step forward in Scottish public sector infrastructure which will create savings and deliver an excellent service," the spokesperson said.

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