Contract Notices must be used to advertise all Route 2 procurement exercises, other than for Care and Support Services contracts between £50,000 and £589,000.
However, a Prior Information Notice (PIN) can be used by sub-central organisations (any Organisation which does not belong to Central Government or National Health Services) as a call for competition instead of a Contract Notice.
Regulation 54(1) of the new Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 provides that:
“a contracting authority must offer on the internet unrestricted and full direct access free of charge to the procurement documents from the date of publication of a notice”
The Regulations define ‘procurement documents’ very widely. This means the literal interpretation of the above is that all documents related to the procurement must be available at the commencement of a procurement. These documents include:
From an operational perspective, however, it is not always practical to have all documents available at the start of the procurement. In general, only in an Open Procedure is an organisation required to make the ITT available from the outset. For all other procedures, you must provide sufficiently precise information to enable bidders to identify the nature and scope of the requirement. From this information the bidder can decide whether to request to participate.
Contract Notices must be published on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS).
PCS is the national advertising portal. It provides free access for suppliers to contract opportunities and guides Procurement Officers through the process of creating a Contract Notice.
Contract Notices published via PCS will contain all of the mandatory information required.
It is important that the Contract Notice provides the scope of the requirement. This can be either by volume or by value.
Framework Agreement Contract Notices must clearly identify the bodies which will be entitled to use it.
If the proposed contract is to be a reserved contract, the Contract Notice must state this.
The Contract Notice must also state if:
the organisation intends to hold an electronic auction
presentation of tenders in the form of electronic catalogues is accepted or required
whether or not variants will be allowed or required
information in respect of any lots.
Your Contract Notice must state how the bidders will be able to access the Procurement Documentation. e.g. if PCS Tender is used, it must provide the relevant reference numbers for the specific procurement.
If uploading Procurement Documents to PCS (Advertising) size restrictions currently apply:
10Mb per document and a maximum of 40Mb for the Procurement Officer, and
10Mb per document with a maximum of 30Mb for the Supplier) ESPD (Scotland) Statements
The Contract Notice should contain the minimum and specific requirements for your procurement exercise. You should include statements relating to the relevant SPD (Scotland) (or ESPD (Scotland), if using).
You should include appropriate statements in the Contract Notice that are aligned to the relevant exclusion and selection questions being used in the SPD (Scotland) (or ESPD (Scotland), if using) for your procurement.
Standardised statements relating to the SPD (Scotland) (or ESPD (Scotland), if using) questions have been developed. These support you in adopting a standard approach to defining minimum requirements in your Contract Notice. They are available in the SPD (Scotland) station.
Unlike SPD (Scotland) (or ESPD (Scotland), if using) questions, you can create new or amend the existing standardised statement(s). These will then be included in the Contract Notice. Any amended or additional statements must reflect the selection criteria and minimum standards of the procurement exercise.
You may give advance notice of planned procurements through the publication of a PIN (when the PIN is not being used as a call for competition). This can allow potential bidders to prepare themselves to bid in time for the planned contract(s) announced.
The period covered by a PIN should be a maximum of 12 months from the date on which the notice is transmitted for publication.
All Contract Notices must be published on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS).
PCS is the national advertising portal which provides suppliers with free access to contract opportunities. It also guides Procurement Officers through the process of creating a Contract Notice on its website.
If using PCS-T or the SPD (Scotland) (or ESPD (Scotland), if using) word document you must set out the specific requirements and minimum standards required. This must be done in the Contract Notice (or the PIN if that is being used as a call for competition). These must be relevant and proportionate to the procurement. in This is not necessary if using the online SPD (Scotland) Module on PCS: the relevant information is contained within the module already.
More information on the SPD (or ESPD if using) and standardised statements, can be found in Route 3 of the Procurement Journey.
direct award without advertising the requirement: you only need to publish a Contract Award Notice on PCS, but not a Social and other Specific Services Contract Notice advertising the requirement;
advertising the requirement: you need to publish a Social and other Specific Services Contract Notice advertising the requirement and also a Contract Award Notice on PCS.
Electronic auctions cannot be used.
All notices relating to EU funded procurement exercises (even when the original contract notice is published after December 2020) need to be published via both the Find a Tender Service (FTS) and OJEU to ensure compliance. The publication of notices will be managed automatically by Public Contracts Scotland (PCS). If you are in doubt whether your procurement exercise is or is not EU funded please seek legal advice.
Please note that the information and guidance provided in the Procurement Journey routes are not designed to cover the specifics that are often applicable to such procurement exercises and we would always advise you to seek specific legal guidance where you need further support.