Chapter

The Politics of Local Contracts

Ian Leigh

in Law, Politics, and Local Democracy

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780198256984
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681714 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198256984.003.0009
The Politics of Local Contracts

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This chapter discusses the contractual powers of local authorities. It evaluates the courts' attitude to the interaction of politics and contract ‘contract compliance’, and the statutory exclusion of non-commercial criteria from contractual decision-making. Underlying these is a limited legal model of the role of local authorities, which sees their role purely as the effective or commercial delivery of services. This is quite at variance with aspects of the new vision of councils as community leaders. It is apparent that the consequence of applying public law principles to local government contracts has been the creation of a distinctive body of public contract law. The discussion suggests that the notion of commercial behaviour imposed on local government has in fact been a cover for a level of public control of public contracts.

Keywords: contract compliance; contractual power; public contract; fettering doctrine; commercial behaviour; decision-making

Chapter.  13729 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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