What are Procurement Contract Award Notice Requirements? Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and other public bodies must go through a legally compliant procurement process prior to awarding a contract for works, supplies or services. This process is set down in the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2012. It is easy for public bodies to get caught up ensuring that the selection process is compliant and forget that, once this process is complete and the successful party has been identified, the method of informing interested parties of the outcome is also subject to the procurement rules.
The regulations distinguish between “tenderers” and “candidates”. A “candidate” is a party which applied to be selected to tender for the contract but did not actually submit a tender – i.e. any party which submitted a Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) but was not invited to tender following PQQ assessment. It is anticipated that “candidates” will have been informed at PQQ assessment stage that they have been unsuccessful.
The regulations state that, as soon as the decision has been made, all tenderers must be informed in writing of the decision to award the contract. Any candidates who were not previously informed of their exclusion from the process must also be notified. The notice should include:
- the criteria for contract award;
- the score obtained by the tenderer receiving the notice;
- the score obtained by the successful tenderer;
- the name of the successful tenderer;
- a summary of the reasons why the tenderer receiving the notice was unsuccessful;
- the characteristics and advantages of the successful tenderer;
- confirmation that the relevant standstill period will be allowed to elapse between the date of issuing the notice and the date on which the contract is entered into.
It is important to ensure that the notice sent to the successful tenderer simply confirms their status as preferred bidder. This should not be an actual acceptance of their tender as this would effectively be an award of the contract before the standstill period has passed, which is a breach of the regulations. Such a breach can lead to court action by an unsuccessful bidder in terms of the legislation.
If you are procuring a public contract in Scotland, we have an experience team who can help. Please contact our team for advice.