Belfast Telegraph

Advertising company's action over Tourism NI contract bid

By Alan Erwin

An advertising agency was unfairly ruled out of contention for a £14m contract with Tourism NI after a government website froze, the High Court has heard.

Counsel for AV Browne claimed it missed a tendering deadline due to a blockage in the system used for submitting bids.

Nicolas Hanna QC argued: "This amounted to a breach of the principles of equal treatment, non-discrimination and proportionality which apply to exercises of this kind."

Belfast firm AV Browne is taking legal action against the Northern Ireland Tourist Board in an attempt to be reinstated in the bidding process.

The contract, for advertising and design work for up to four years, has yet to be awarded because of the court challenge.

Mr Hanna said the web portal froze as an AV Browne employee tried to send the details by computer just before the 3pm deadline on October 14 last year. It meant she was unable to enter a figure into a box on the screen.

Belfast Telegraph