Whilst trawling through www.gov.uk on an unrelated point, we came across a recently published letter from the Competition and Markets Authority addressed to "procurement professionals", warning as to the risk of bid rigging. The letter is not addressed to the construction industry in particular, but warns all sectors of the dangers of bid rotation (where companies take it in turns to have the most attractive bid), cover pricing (inflating a bid to help another, lower priced bid) and bid suppression (a company not bidding so as to lessen the competition for another company).
Historically, cartel issues have raised themselves in the construction industry, particularly in relation to the supply of specialist services or materials. However, in the current age with (on the one hand) very competitive tendering and (on the other hand) two stage tendering and value engineering, we wonder as to the extent this is a real risk in the construction industry. Are we being naïve? We would be happy to hear from our readers on this issue.