The standstill period is a defined period of time between the notice of the contract award decision and the award of the contract.

The purpose of the standstill period is to:

  • ·allow unsuccessful tenderers to consider the feedback on their submissions
  • ·give them an opportunity to ask for further information or call for a review of the decision.

These templates can be used to notify the successful and unsuccessful tenderer(s) at the start of the standstill period.

Standstill Timescales

There are defined timelines for Standstill that must be followed before your organisation can enter into a contract.

These does not apply where

The standstill period is 10 days where the standstill notice is sent to all tenderers by facsimile or electronic means.  This 10 days ends at midnight at the end of the 10th day after that on which the last notice is sent.

Where the notice is sent to any tenderers only by other means, e.g. by post, the standstill period is 15 days ending at midnight at the end of the 15th day after that on which the last notice is sent.

Unsuccessful Tenderer Concerns

If unsuccessful tenderers have any concerns about the process, and/or its outcome, they should be raised during the standstill period.

Before approaching the court seeking any legal remedies, a tenderer must inform the Organisation and explain the basis for its court application. The Organisation will usually be aware of any legal challenge prior to the end of the mandatory standstill period.

When court action has commenced your Organisation cannot award the contract unless the court permits this.  This is usually after your Organisation has successfully applied to the court.

Even after contract award a supplier can approach the court seeking damages (see remedies section).standstill notice communicates the intent to conclude the contract and should be sent as soon as possible after the contract award decision has been made.

A standstill notice must also be issued providing, where applicable, the grounds for any decision:

  • Not to conclude a framework agreement for which there has been a call for competition;
  • Not to award a contract for which there has been a call for competition;
  • To recommence the procedure; or
  • Not to implement a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for which there has been a call for competition.
  • Standard template notices can be found at: Standard Forms and Documentation.

Your Organisation can withhold certain information about regarding the contract award, where its release would prevent the enforcement of the law or be contrary to the public interest, would affect the commercial interests of particular tenderer(s)(public or private) or may impact fair competition between tenderers.  

As with all aspects of the Procurement Journey, the activities at this stage must be carried out in a carefully managed way that supports the Principles of Procurement. As a minimum the processes must be carried out in a transparent manner that ensures there is no distortion of the market place, the outcome cannot be a procurement that unduly favours or disadvantages a particular bidder and it is the responsibility of the Organisation to make sure that these requirements are met.

In addition to this notice the Organisation must respond within 15 days to a written request from a tenderer to:

  • advise an unsuccessful tenderer of the reasons for the rejection of its request to participate
  • inform an unsuccessful tenderer of the reasons for the rejection of its tender, including any decision that the goods or services do not meet the performance or functional requirements
  • in the case of an unsuccessful tenderer which has not been informed by a standstill notice, confirm the characteristics and relative advantages of the successful tender, including the name of the successful tenderer
  • if it was the successful tenderer, a description of any improvements the Organisation considers the tenderer could have made to its tender.

Please note,  if the commodity was deemed to be catalogueable, the Procurement Officer should set up the successful tenderer on the Pecos Content Management system to ensure that he/she can prepare the catalogues where it has not already been done.

Challenges During Standstill

If court proceedings are served on an Organisation during the standstill period then the Organisation cannot enter into the contract.

Organisations must ensure a process is in place to inform all relevant staff when proceedings are served. This process should also ensure that appropriate action is taken.