All SPD questions are consistent whether you are using:
However please note:
If you are using the SPD module in PCS: you will add your qualifying information e.g. standardised statements, into the specific SPD question in the PCS SPD module.
If you are using the word version of the SPD or the SPD within PCS-Tender: you will add your qualifying information e.g. standardised statements, in the PCS Contract Notice.
Bidders will use their SPD response to indicate whether their organisations meet the requirements to participate in the procurement exercise. The form is a self-declaration forms and suppliers do not need to provide any evidence upfront unless their are clear reasons for doing so.
Buyers must issue an SPD for procurement exercises over the threshold (route 3) and it is recommended that it is also used for all route 2 procurements.
The SPD can be used as part of either a single stage or multi stage procedure.
A single stage procedure asks bidders to submit all relevant information at the same time. This will usually take the form of a completed SPD document, alongside the bidders responses to the rest of the procurement documents.
In this instance it is recommended that the bidders’ SPD resonponses should be assessed on a pass/fail basis, as there is no requirement to shortlist.
A two stage process will split the submission and evaluation up in to two distinct stages. Firstly the bidder will submit the SPD for evaluation by the buyer. All of the Exclusion questions and most of the Selection questions will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. The technical and professional ability section is most commonly assessed by scoring responses.
The technical and professional ability section of the SPD can include a scoring a weighting methodology which allows the buyer to rank responses and shortlist a number of bidders to invite to tender. The scoring and weighting methodology must be fair, transparent and clearly explained to bidders in the procurement documents.
Buyers should define the scoring and weighting, along with any thresholds in the Contract Notice
If you are currently a PCS Tender user you will be able to use the online SPD (Scotland) template on PCS-Tender.
SPD (Scotland) Module
The SPD has been built into Public Contracts Scotland as an online module that is available to all users
SPD (Scotland) Word Document
Please ensure you always use the document from here in the Procurement Journey to ensure you always use the most up to date version.
What Types of Questions Can I Ask?
The exclusion criteria questions are split into two types:
The bidder must be excluded from the procurement process if the specified offences have been committed and they have not taken sufficient self-cleansing actions. For further information, please review the exclusion criteria station.
Whilst there are only two mandatory exclusion criteria questions in the SPD for route 2 procurement exercises, it is recommended that buyers includes all exclusion criteria questions in thier SPD request.
In most cases the bidder must be given the opportunity to provide evidence that they have taken sufficient and appropriate remedial action i.e. they have ‘self-cleansed’. If you are satisfied that the provided evidence provided is sufficient to demonstrate reliability, you should not exclude the bidder from the procurement procedure on those grounds
The bidder must satisfy that it has
When considering any self-cleansing measures, organisations must consider all relevant factors. This includes the gravity and particular circumstances of the criminal offence or misconduct.
If you believe the bidder’s remedial action is not sufficient to demonstrate reliability, you must provide the bidder with a statement outlining the reasons for the decision. The statement of reasons must be provided in writing as soon as is reasonably practicable to allow the bidder to understand why the self-cleansing measures taken are insufficient.
In the case of tax and social security breaches where self-cleansing does not apply, the bidder should not be excluded if they have fulfilled their obligations by paying or entering into a biding agreed with the view to paying monies due or the obligation to repay otherwise ceases.
Please note: that no extra questions should be added to the SPD form.
The format you issue your SPD request in will influence the way in which you specify the criteria and minimum requirements.
If using PCS-Tender or the SPD (Scotland) Word Document, you should set out your specific requirements and minimum standards in the Contract Notice (or the PIN if that is being used as a Call for Competition).
If using the online SPD (Scotland) module within PCS, you should include your specific requirements and minimum standards with the corresponding SPD question.
A set of standardised statements may help you to explain these requirements in a consistent format.
This set of standardised statements has been developed to support you in explaining your selection criteria to bidders.
Each standardised statement is aligned to a selection question in the SPD (Scotland) and you should choose the ones relevant to your procurement exercise. In some instances, you are able to adapt them to your specific procurement exercise. The full list of statements can found in the standarised statement document and an example is included below:
|SPD Question||Standard Statement tailored to procurement exercise|
|The bidder should provide its (“general”) yearly turnover for the number of financial years specified in the relevant Contract Notice||Bidders will be required to have a minimum “general” yearly turnover of £2m GBP for the last 2 years|
Some of the standardised statements, for example those relating to Environmental Management Legislation and Quality Management Procedures, are very lengthy. Therefore you should review these carefully and ensure that you select only those parts of the standardised statements that allow you to specify your minimum requirements. You should be careful to ensure that the criteria included is proportionate and not overly onerous on the bidder.
This process will enable you to adopt a standard approach to defining the selection criteria in Contract Notices (and in PINs being used as a Call for Competition).
If using the online SPD (Scotland) module on PCS there is no need to add the statements in the contract notice, it should be added directly to the module.
More information on where to state information in the Contract Notice can be found on the Contract Notice and Advertising station.
As the SPD is designed to be an initial self-declaration form, bidders are not required to produce supporting documentary evidence upfront. Evidence maybe requested at the end of the first stage of a two stage procedure or prior to awarding the contract.
If the bidder is unable to provide this evidence, upon request and without delay, it should not be taken forward to tender stage or be awarded the contract.
Exceptionally, where you have a genuine concern and there is a risk to the effective conduct of the procurement exercise, you may request, at any time, all or part of the supporting documents. Such requests can be made to the bidder or any subcontractors, consortia members or other bodies whose capability and capacity will be relied on to perform the contract.
|Select only the questions that are relevant to the procurement exercise||Add any questions to the SPD|
|Set your minimum standards and requirements upfront||Set minimum standard too high|
|Inform bidders of the scoring and weighting in the contract notice and/or procurement documents||Use award criteria in the SPD|
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Where the bidder is relying on other parties to meet the selection criteria, you should request a separate SPD (Scotland) response from each party being relied on.
These parties should complete the exclusion criteria section of the SPD and whichever selection questions, the main bidder is relying on them for.
This should be evaluated alongside the main bidders SPD.
Where a party meets the mandatory grounds for the exclusion, you must require that the main bidder replaces them.
Where there are discretionary grounds for the exclusion, you may require them to be replaced. This should be considered on a case by case basis, taking into account the various circumstances of the procurement exercise.
Bidders may reuse the information that has been provided in an SPD (Scotland) which has already been used in a previous procurement procedure, as long as the information remains correct and continues to be pertinent.
The online SPD (Scotland) module on PCS supports this by allowing bidders to save a supplier profile which enables them to recall their SPD responses when completing future SPD requests.
The UK has left the EU and the Transition Period ends at 11 p.m. on 31 December 2020. As a result there will be some minor changes to the ESPD which take effect from that date.
Very little is changing is practical terms, however, there are some things that you should be aware of for procurement exercises commencing after the end of the transition period. From 11 p.m. on 31 December 2020:
1) The title of the ESPD (Scotland) will be changing to SPD (Scotland).
2) The exclusion criterion concerning fraud relating to European Communities’ funds will no longer be a valid ground for excluding bidders. This criterion must not be used in any procurement exercises that commence after the end of the transition period.
This exclusion criterion will be removed from the SPD (Scotland) templates available in the Procurement Journey and PCS-Tender. However, it will still be visible in the SPD module within PCS, defaulted to ‘not selected’, pending it’s removal when the next upgrade is carried out. It must not be selected, or used to evaluate any SPD responses for procurement exercises commencing after the end of the transition period.
3) There will be minor updates to the wording of standard SPD questions containing references to EU ‘Member States’. This will not change the meaning of the questions.
For further information on Changes to Procurement legislation at the end of the EU Exit Transition Period, please refer to SPPN 11/20
Make sure you are signed up to the PJ notification service to receive information on future changes to both the PSD and the wider PJ.
Buyers may consider allowing the bidders to answer the global question to confirm they meet ALL selection criteria as specified in the Contract Notice.
If the buyer chooses to include this global question, they should be confident that by NOT answering any other questions on selection criteria, that there is no risk to the procurement process, the supply of goods, services or works as a result of the bidders response.
If you choose to include this question, then you can also use the questions in Part V, which ask bidders to describe how they meet the shortlisting criteria you have set out in the contract notice.
You may use Part V of the SPD (Scotland) when using PCS-T or the Word version of the SPD (Scotland) to reduce the number of already qualified candidates who met all the exclusion and selection criteria of the SPD (Scotland).
Part V of the SPD (Scotland) can only be used for restricted procedures, competitive procedures with negotiation, competitive dialogue procedures and innovation partnerships. It cannot be used in case of open procedures and competitive procedures without negotiation. Part V may be used if it is proportionate and relevant to the contract and it is specified in the Contract Notice.
If you decide to use Part V of the SPD (Scotland), you need to specify the objective and non-discriminatory criteria or rules to be applied in order to limits the number of candidates that will be invited to tender or to conduct a dialogue. This information, which can be accompanied by requirements concerning the (types of) certificates or forms of documentary evidence, if any, to be produced, is set out in the relevant Contract Notice.
The minimum number of bidders that may be invited by an Organisation to a restricted procedure is five. In any event the number of candidates invited must be sufficient to ensure genuine competition (note if the number of bidders meeting the selection criteria is fewer than five the procurement can still proceed) In a competitive dialogue and negotiated procedure without publication the minimum number of candidates taken forward by the Organisation is three. In any event the number of candidates invited must be sufficient to ensure genuine competition (note if the number of bidders meeting the selection criteria is fewer than five the procurement can still proceed).
The mandatory exclusion grounds (regulations 58(1) to (3) of Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015) must be applied to all procurements, and an organisation can choose to apply the discretionary exclusion grounds and selection criteria and@ to use the ESPD (Scotland) for this purpose without amending the questions. It is a matter of best practice to do so.
If you are using the online SPD (Scotland) module on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) and want to include a financial ratio as part of the SPD, you will be required to choose from a standard list of available ratios, There are also other financial measurements included in the SPD module on PCS, such as turnover, that organisations are also able to take into account.
Some users have commented that the standard list of ratios does not include some they are familiar with, such as Acid Test Ratio, Gearing and Net Profit Margin. In most part the differences arise from different terminology/methodology to that known by our users.
The Scottish Government Accountancy Services consider that the current list of financial ratios is valid, and that using a combination of these ratios can provide the same result as using the alternatives suggested by users.
The SPD Financial Ratio document below provides guidance on how to utilise the ratios in the SPD module on PCS to get the required result.
Please note that the Microsoft Word version and PCS-Tender versions of the SPD are unaffected by this as organisations can manually enter their required ratios rather than selecting from a drop-down list of pre-populated ratios, as is the case on PCS.
A summary of the SPD process is shown below: