It is no secret I have a very negative view on fairly lax approach to pre-market engagement taken by Directive 2014/24/EU and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. This week we have a textbook example of the risks posed by opening the floodgates of communications with potential contractors before a tender is launched.
Here's what the BBC found out about Sports Wales procurement practices:
While it appears that in this instance Sport Wales was not engaging the market to help the preparation of the tender documents, making it a clearer case of (un)equal treatment, it is only a question of time until the lines get blurred. What if the email said "do you think this tender is doable" instead of "could (you) provide us with a submission based on this"? The end result is the virtually the same, the only change being the emphasis of the question.