R v Lord Chancellor’s Department, ex parte Hibbit [1993]

LC’s
department advertised inviting tenders for court reporting services.
Lowest
four tenders given opportunity to submit lower tenders.
Applicant,
not one of four, applied for JR of decision.
Argued,
inter alia, they had legitimate expectation that discussions would not be held
with some tenderers to enable them to submit lower bids.
Court
refused application.
In
conditions of tender, LC’s department reserved right to enter into discussions
to clarify submitted bid.
Admittedly,
‘clarify’ did not mean ‘reduce’.
But
decision not amenable to JR because lacked sufficient public law element.
Not
sufficient to say simply LC’s department was governmental body carrying out
governmental functions.
If
governmental body enters into contract with another party, obligations it owes
will be under that contract unless some other element exists giving rise to
public law obligation.
However,
absence of alt remedy in private law immaterial to question of whether public law
remedy existed.