Route 2 - Contract Award - Contract Award Notice
The Contract Award Notice is a public announcement of the outcome of a public procurement exercise.
The publication of a Contract Award Notice is mandatory for ALL regulated procurement exercises i.e. those where the estimated value is £50k or more. 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 £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.
For Dynamic Purchasing Systems, Contract Award Notices do not need to be published for each and every award, but can be grouped together and published on a quarterly basis within 30 calendar days of quarter end.
The Contract Award Notice should not include any information which would:
impede law enforcement or otherwise be contrary to the public interest;
prejudice the commercial interests of any person; or
prejudice fair competition between bidders.
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.
When an award notice is published on PCS by your organisation an entry is automatically made in your contracts register. Your organisation will need to make the decision whether to make the contracts register publicly viewable or not.
PLEASE NOTE: if you do not use PCS for producing a contract register, you still must produce a publicly available one.
It is also important to note that the contracts register will pull through the contract value from the contract award notice. You should always try to 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.
A contracting authority may withhold information from publication 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.