Reg.94 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR2015) establishes rules for starting proceedings under Chapter 6 PCR2015. Generally, the economic operator must serve the claim form on the contracting authority within 7 days after the date of issue where proceedings are started [reg.94(1)]. For these purposes, “serve” means serve in accordance with rules of court, and for the purposes of this regulation a claim form is deemed to be served on the day on which it is deemed by rules of court to be served [reg.94(5)].
However, there is a requirement for speedier service of the claim where ineffectiveness or a prohibition on concluding a not yet performed contract are involved. This covers cases where proceedings are started (i) seeking a declaration of ineffectiveness, or (ii) alleging a breach of (a) the standstill period imposed in reg.87 PCR2015, (b) suspension derived from a challenge to the award decision as per reg.95 PCR2015, or (c) an obligation derived from an interim measure restoring or modifying the requirement to suspend as per reg.96(1)(b) PCR2015, where the contract has not been fully performed [reg.94(2) PCR2015].
In those cases, the economic operator must, as soon as practicable, send a copy of the claim form to each person, other than the contracting authority, who is a party to the contract in question [reg.94(3) PCR2015]. In that regard, the contracting authority must, as soon as practicable, comply with any request from the economic operator for any information it may reasonably require for the purpose of complying such a duty to send a copy of the claim form to each person, other than the contracting authority, who is a party to the contract in question [reg.94(4) PCR2015].
These requirements make sense, given the relevance of ensuring that contracts are not executed when they are affected by a significant risk of ineffectiveness.