Deloitte offers to not tender for 6 months after Brexit criticism

A few weeks ago a two page note by Deloitte stating the lack of a Government plan for Brexit was leaked to the Times. At the time, Government replied that the note had no credibility and one would assume the matter had ended there.

But then today Deloitte apologises and offers not to tender for public contracts for the next 6 months. It looks similar to how my parents used to deal with my misbehaviours by graciously offering the possibility of picking my own punishment. This is incredible:

The accountancy firm Deloitte has taken the extraordinary step of apologising to the government and offering to stop bidding for Whitehall contracts for six months, after preparing an internal memo suggesting Downing Street had no plan for Brexit.

Deloitte said on Tuesday night it had “put forward a plan” for working with the government that was intended to “put this matter behind us”.

No 10 has not denied reports that the strategy includes a six-month moratorium on pitching for lucrative government work.

This is an example of why I am not a fan of blacklists: they can easily be used not only to punish economic operators which fall short of the standards expected but also to make them toe whatever the party line of the day.

I remember research by a colleague of mine many years ago saying she found no evidence of economic operators blacklisting in the UK and coming from a jurisdiction where public procurement litigation is par for the course I assumedperhaps it was one of those urban myths. After reading this, I am not so sure anymore.