Route 3 - Contract Award - Contract Award Notice
The Contract Award Notice is a public announcement of the outcome of a public procurement exercise in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
The publication of a Contract Award Notice is mandatory for ALL Route 3 procurement exercises, the Contract Award Notice must be despatched no later than 30 calendar days after the contract or framework agreement award date. This also applies when a mini competition has been held for a Framework Agreement and the value is a minimum of £50k or more. The aforementioned Notice(s) must be published on the Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) portal. Contract Award Notices published via PCS will contain all of the mandatory information required. The contract register is automatically updated with the Contract Notices on PCS, however the Procurement Officer needs to make the conscious decision to make this publicly viewable.
Where the estimated value of the contract is equal to or greater than £4,000,000 and it has been stated in the previous procurement documents that you will impose community benefit requirements in the contract, the contract award notice must include a statement of the benefits that you believe will be derived via community benefits clause(s) through the life of the contract. Organisations may withhold any information, the publication of which:
- would impede law enforcement;
would be against the public interest;
would prejudice the commercial interests of any person; or
might prejudice fair competition between economic operators.
For contracts formed through the use of a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), Contract Award Notices can either be published individually for each and every award, or can be grouped together and published on a quarterly basis within 30 calendar days of the end of each quarter.
Organisations may access the contracts register for their organisation to assist in evaluating existing arrangements, including contract value.
The Contracts Register module in PCS provides the facility for buying organisations to operate a private register of all contracts they have in place and a public register of these contracts to meet the obligations of Section 35 of the Procurement Reform Act (Scotland) 2014.
It is important to note that the contracts register will pull through the contract value from the contract award notice. You should always be as open and transparent as possible when completing this field. This field can be manually amended but please be aware that all relevant amendments have to be manually duplicated in the Scottish Procurement Information Hub as there is no integration between the two systems for manual amendments.
Regulation 51(6) does allow a contracting authority to withhold from publication information on the contract award or the conclusion of the framework agreement where the release of the information:
(a) would impede law enforcement or otherwise be contrary to the public interest;
(b) would prejudice the commercial interests of any person;
(c) might prejudice fair competition between economic operators.
So, if relying on (b) you would need to be able to demonstrate that the commercial interests of the company concerned would definitely be prejudiced by the release of this information.
You should bear in mind, however, that even if you withhold the contract value from a contract award notice, this does not provide cover from Freedom Of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), where the equivalent test is set much higher - to withhold under FOISA, the release would have to, or be likely to cause substantial prejudice, and the public interest in withholding the information would have to outweigh the public interest in its release.
Detailed contracts register user guidance can be found in PCS. Some additional fields have been added to PCS. These fields are optional and can be used by you for local reporting requirements by populating information. These fields will not be publically viewable. Defintions for some of these new fields can be found in Contracts Register Fields.
PLEASE NOTE: if you do not use PCS for producing a contract register, you still must produce a publicly available one.