The ECJ ruled in case C-601/10 that failure by Greek local authorities to open a new tender process for additional urban planning services amounted to a breach of the procurement rules. The case concerned the direct award to the incumbent service providers of contracts for services not included in the original contracts.

The Greek authorities claimed that the additional services fell within the exception under the Procurement Directive which allows an authority to directly award a contract to an existing service provider for additional services that were not included in an initial contract but which have, through unforeseen circumstances, become necessary for its performance. The ECJ found that the value of the contracts exceeded 50 per cent of the value of the original contract and were not awarded due to “unforeseen circumstances”. Therefore the award did not meet the conditions for use of this exception. Consequently, the contracts should have gone out to tender.