Federal Security Services Ltd v Chief Constable for the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Resource Group Limited

JurisdictionNorthern Ireland
JudgeDeeny J
Judgment Date25 February 2009
Neutral Citation[2009] NICh 3
Date25 February 2009
CourtChancery Division (Northern Ireland)
Neutral Citation No: [2009] NICh 3 Ref:
Judgment: approved by the Court for handing down Delivered:
(subject to editorial corrections)*
[1] The plaintiff herein currently provides security, guarding, driving and
associated services to the Police Service of Northern Ireland. This was on foot
of a contract which was due to end on 1 December 2008. However, at the
request of the Chief Constable the plaintiff agreed to extend the period of the
contract until 1 March 2009. On that date the services concerned, and over
500 men and women currently employed by the plaintiff, will transfer to
Resource Grafton Security. I use this name as the name used by the Police
Service when awarding the contract to that company. When they applied
subsequently, and successfully, to be joined as a second defendant in these
proceedings they described themselves as resource (TM) Group Limited.
They formerly traded, in whole or in part, as Maybin. I shall refer to it as
Resource from now on, without prejudice to certain submissions the plaintiff
may ultimately make. The plaintiff’s claim, on foot of a writ and a summons,
both of 16 January 2009, is for an injunction restraining the first defendant, the
Chief Constable, from taking any steps towards implementing the contract so
awarded. The court is dealing with the matter on an interlocutory basis, to
consider making such an order pending the trial of the action or until further
order of the court. A decision and judgment needs to be given prior to March
[2] The interlocutory hearing was heard before me on 10, 11 and 12
February. Mr Martin Bowsher QC led Mr David Dunlop for the plaintiff. Mr
Gerard Simpson QC led Mr Rhodri Williams for the first defendant and Mr
Nigel Giffin QC led Mr David Schofield for the second defendant. I am
grateful to counsel for their able and helpful written and oral submissions.
Particularly in the circumstances of urgency outlined above I will not attempt
to address all these arguments but I have considered them carefully in
arriving at my decision.
[3] The first defendant has accepted for the purposes of this stage of the
proceedings that the plaintiff’s affidavits disclose a serious issue to be tried.
That is in respect of the steps taken by the first defendant in the award of the
new contract to Resource. Some of the matters set out by the plaintiff are the
subject of keen dispute, such as the possession of the necessary security
licence by Resource. Others, such as the expansion of the clarification
interview outwith the role of such an interview and to include a new criterion
or sub-criterion in apparent breach of the relevant authorities seem less in
dispute on the affidavits so far seen. See Ati v ACTV Venezia et alia [2005]
ECR 1-10109; Lianakis v Alexandroupolis and Others, Case C53206 (24
January 2008); McLaughlin and Harvey Limited v Department of Finance and
Personnel [No 2] [2008] NIQB 91. However the defendants contend that the
court has no power or jurisdiction to grant an injunction of this kind in this
case because the contract has already been awarded. They further argue that,
even if the court were against them on the first point, the court in the exercise
of its discretion should not grant an injunction to the plaintiff here. In the
circumstances clearly it is appropriate to address the jurisdictional issue first.
[4] The Chief Constable’s procedures leading to the award of this new
contract took place in 2008. The plaintiff and second defendant were two of
four short listed economic operators. They were the only two called for a
clarification interview, soi-disant, in September 2008. The plaintiff learnt of
the award of the contract to Resource by a letter of 22 December also. Their
solicitors immediately wrote querying this in several respects and indicating
their desire to challenge the decision. However they were then told that,
contrary to a possibility mooted in an earlier letter on behalf of the Chief
Constable, there was to be no stand still period to allow a disappointed
tenderer to apply to the court. The contract had in fact already been awarded
on 22 December to “Resource Grafton Security”.
[5] The first defendant submits that he is perfectly entitled to take that
position because it complies with the relevant statutory provisions in the
United Kingdom and, he submits, with European law.
[6] The relevant statutory provisions in the United Kingdom are the Public
Contracts Regulations 2006 which apply to England and Wales and to
Northern Ireland. I think it best to address these seriatim to a degree.

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1 cases
  • Sidey Limited V. Clackmannanshire Council And Another
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Session
    • 9 December 2009
    ...in Alcatel. Federal Security Services Limited v Chief Constable for the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Resource Group Limited [2009] NICh 3 was also distinguishable. That was a very special case on its facts, and quite different from the present case. The decision is not binding on ......

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