Invest NI lose court battle with Enterprise NI

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Saturday, April 21st, 2012
Business, News
A long running legal dispute between Invest NI and Enterprise NI ended this week with Invest NI being forced to re-tender a multi-million pound contract. The dispute surrounded the tendering of the ‘Go For It’ business start-up programme, which had been run by enterprise agencies for 20 years. The local programme was run in Newry at WIN Business Park at the Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency. Last September Invest NI awarded the programme to Scottish based KPMG, much to the anger of local enterprise agencies. The court however, ruled that Invest NI must re-tender the contract, allowing Enterprise agencies throughout Northern Ireland to compete again for the business programme.
In a joint statement Invest NI and Enterprise NI said, “The legal challenge and current trial are taking much longer than all parties anticipated. Both Enterprise NI and Invest NI are concerned that the delay continues to impact adversely on the provision of a full business start support programme for those members of the public who may be interested in starting a business. As the proposed contract under scrutiny would only run until September 2013, any further delays would have a detrimental impact on the logistics of organising and introducing a new service of this type.” The statement continued, “On this basis, the parties, whilst continuing to differ in their views in relation to the issues raised in the litigation, have agreed that Invest NI will terminate the current procurement process, and that the legal action will end, on the basis that Invest NI will be going back out to the market with a revised proposal for the provision of a business start service.”
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