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Case

Protect Net Zero from shoddy procurement practices

We won’t let the drive for Net Zero, one of the most important challenges facing the UK today, become another example of secretive closed-door procurement practices.

That’s why we’ve launched new judicial review proceedings against the East of England Broadband Network (E2BN) for their decision to, we believe, unlawfully award a £70 billion ‘Everything Net Zero’ Framework Agreement to the Place Group, a company with scant emissions reduction expertise.

Based on what we know so far, this agreement offers the Place Group a way of controlling how the entire public sector, from the NHS to local government offices, will award contracts even loosely connected to ‘climate’ issues, without having to comply with the usual public procurement rules.

On the face of it, E2BN’s decisions and conduct in respect of the Everything Net Zero Framework appears to be in breach of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. They seem to have created a mechanism through which billions in public contracts can be awarded by the Place Group to unspecified suppliers without open, transparent and fair competition.

E2BN have so far refused to properly engage with our questions. As a result, we have now begun legal proceedings. But perhaps there is a reasonable explanation, which is why we’ve asked the Court to give E2BN more time to provide us with proper answers.

If you are able to, please consider donating to our fight for transparency. The climate crisis is too important to be left to shoddy procurement.

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