Route 2 - Develop Documents - Contract Notice and Advertising
Contract Notices must be used to advertise all Route 2 procurement exercises, other than for Care and Support contracts between £50,000 and €750,000, where an organisation has choosen to award a contract or framework agreement without seeking offers. However, a Prior Information Notice (PIN) can be used by sub-central organisations (any Organisation which does not belong to Central Government nor National Health Services) as a call for competition instead of a Contract Notice.
Using a PIN as an Advance Notice
All Organisations 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 contracts announced.
- The PIN should contain details of supply and services contracts for which the organisation expects to seek tenders during the forthcoming 12 months.
- The standard PIN form should be used.
Using a PIN as a Call for Competition
Where a sub-central Organisation (any Organisation which does not belong to Central Government or National Health Services) uses a PIN as a call for competition, the PIN should:
- Refer specifically to the supplies or services that will be the subject of the contract to be awarded;
- Indicate that the contract will be awarded without further publication of a call for competition and invite bidders to express their interest;
The period covered by a PIN should be a maximum of 12 months from the date on which the notice is transmitted for publication.
Availability of Tender Documents when Publishing OJEU Notices
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 meaning that the literal interpretation of this provision is that all documents related to the procurement, including technical specifications, terms and conditions and tender documents to be used at subsequent stages must be available at the commencement of a procurement. From an operational perspective however, it is recognised that having all documents available at the commencement of the procurement is not always practical. In general, only in an Open Procedure is an organisation required to make the ITT available from the outset however, in all other procedures, the organisation must provide sufficiently precise information to enable bidders to identify the nature and scope of the requirement and decide whether to request to participate.
Contract Notices must be published on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS). PCS is the national advertising portal which provides free access for suppliers to contract opportunities and guides Procurement Officers through the process of creating a Notice on its website. Contract Notices published via PCS will contain all of the mandatory information required.
[For Care and Support Services in the case of Route 2 procurements, you may decide if you wish to advertise the requirement or not. In the case of:
- 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.]
The Contract Notice should contain the minimum and specific requirements for your procurement exercise, and should include statements relating to the relevant ESPD (Scotland). You should include appropriate statements in the Contract Notice that are aligned to the relevant exclusion and selection questions that are being used in the ESPD (Scotland) for the particular procurement exercise. Standardised statements relating to the ESPD (Scotland) questions have been developed to support you in adopting a standard approach to defining minimum requirements in your Contract Notice and are available in the ESPD (Scotland) station.
Unlike the questions in ESPD (Scotland), Procurement Officers can create new, or amend the statement(s) in the Standardised Statements document which will be included in the Contract Notice. Any amended or additional statements must reflect the selection criteria and minimum standards of the particular procurement exercise.
It is important that the Contract Notice provides the scope of the requirement, either by volume or by value and, in the case of Contract Notices for Framework Agreements, that it clearly identifies 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.
It must also state if:
the organisation intends to hold an electronic auction (this cannot be used for Care and Support Services)
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), please note 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) on PCS Advertising.
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 Notice on its website and automatically creates a Notice on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Contract Notices must set out the information in Part C of Annex V of the 2014 EU Public Procurement Directive [as provided for in PCS].
If using PCS-T or the ESPD (Scotland) word document, Procurement Officers must set out the specific requirements and minimum standards that are relevant and proportionate for the procurement exercise in the Contract Notice (or the PIN if that is being used as a call for competition).
This is not necessary if using the online ESPD (Scotland) Module on PCS as the relevant information is contained within the module.
Additional Contract Notice Guidance
Two sets of examples have been developed to help you complete the Contract Notice. Both sets contain an example OJEU Contract Notice and a corresponding ESPD (Scotland). The Contract Notice for below OJEU procurements has the same structure as the OJEU Contract Notice, so these examples may help you in developing the Contract Notice for below OJEU procurements. These examples are for guidance and are not intended to be definitive templates for procurement procedures. You are therefore required to make a professional judgment about the questions/statements used on a case by case basis.
It is not necessary to insert the Standardised Statements into the Contract Notice if using the online ESPD (Scotland) Module on PCS as the relevant information is contained within the module. However the Standardised Statements can be used as a guide for adding.
Contract Notice Overview (for Non-Care and Support Services Procurements)
In some instances the Contract Notice does not specify the exact field where information should be added in line with legislation e.g. where to add text when lotting has been considered but it has been determined not to lot.