Scottish Ministers Marketing Services Framework to proceed in June as Newhaven drops legal challenge against Scottish Government

Newhaven, the Edinburgh-based creative agency has droppedits legal challenge with The Scottish Government which is now expected to begin to work with the new Scottish Ministers Marketing Services Framework from next month.

The new framework will begin on 1 June, with successful agencies understood to have been informed of their success this afternoon, although no full lists have yet been released outside of the government.

It is understood that Newhaven has dropped its legal challenge, which was postponed from being heard on Tuesday and would have argued its absence from the framework as a result of a number of ‘anomalies’ found within the figures released by the government’s procurement team.

At the time of writing it was not clear why the challenge had been dropped, although it was understood that no changes had been made to the framework decision and that it remained unchanged, meaning that Newhaven would not continue as one of the marketing supplier agencies.

Due to the bank holiday, The Scottish Government’s communications team was unavailable to request a response or clarification, while Newhaven would not comment on the development either.

The framework had been delayed on several occasions from being announced due to complaints over the result made by Newhaven, and Tangible agencies Leith and Stripe over their failure to make it onto separate Lots and over the process itself. The continued delay, and eventual legal challenge, led to deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon being brought in to oversee the process, which looked likely to end up in court.

Had it gone to court, it is likely that a judge would have had to rule whether the procurement-led appointment had been flawed, which might well have forced changes to the public procurement process in Scotland.

The Drum will update this story as further information becomes clear.

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