The name of Jan Fletcher will, I suspect, go down in public procurement history. Not because she was an advisor to Vince Cable, not because she was formerly Yorkshire Business Woman of the Year, not because of her CBE for Services to Industry, not because she was listed as one of the Top 20 Entrepreneurs. No, Ms Fletcher could gain procurement fame as the woman who turned the tide of public procurement challenges.
Ms Fletcher has been ordered to pay Leeds City Council £2m as an interim payment after losing a public procurement challenge. She claimed the Council had deceived her in the procurement process, while back in February a judge concluded the Council has acted with "honesty and integrity".
Is this latest development a good thing? Well there are two sides to the coin. I think this should serve as a warning that public procurement isn't always wrong and will serve as a reminder that court cases can prove very costly. It is a good day for those in public procurement who are professional and perhaps feel they are unfairly criticised. However, apart from being a bad day for Ms Fletcher, it is a sad day if we start to see the David's of the selling world become too fearful of challenging the Goliath's of public procurement.