Invitation to Tender

Quickfire Guide

Quickfire Guide

Invitation to Tender Quickfire Guide

You must offer unrestricted and full direct access to the Procurement Documents on the internet.   This must:

  • include the Invitation to Tender (ITT) documents

  • be available from the date of publication of a Contract Notice

  • This access must be non-discriminatory and free of any charge.

Where it is justified that the ITT documents cannot be issued electronically, other transmission means can be used.  However the time limit for receipt of tenders should be increased by 5 days (except in a case of duly substantiated emergency).   Examples are the use of specialised tools and/or files.

Where a two stage process is being used, the documents can be made available only to the tenderers which have passed the selection stage of the procedure.

For the following procedures:

An invitation to submit bids to selected tenderers must be issued simultaneously and in writing. 

For the Open Procedure, ITTs must be issued on request to any bidder at any point prior to the date set for submission of tenders.

The ITT should include comprehensive information for potential suppliers about the requirement being tendered.



Information to Include in your Tender

There will be some generic information/documents that require insertion into all tender packs e.g. a reference to the relevant Contract Notice or Award Criteria weightings.  However, some content is contract specific e.g. to Invitations to Confirm Interest. You should select those applicable to include in your invitation pack.

This checklist gives example information/criteria that could be included in your invitation.

Evaluation Criteria

The questions within the ITT must be consistent with the evaluation criteria and weightings published within the Contract Notice and procurement documents.

You should also draft a timetable for the process which must comply with applicable minimum timescales detailed in Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015.  For more information refer to Selection, Award & Exclusion criteria.

Price/financial evaluation criteria should include:

  • Whole Life Cost comparisons

  • quantifiable financial benefits arising from the technical evaluation (e.g. speed, fuel or electricity consumption, coverage, shelf life, etc.)

  • fixed or variable pricing

  • cost of components, spare parts, consumables and servicing

Risk analysis and financial appraisal (for major contracts of strategic importance, especially those of an innovative nature)

Whilst developing the documentation you will draw information from the developing strategy stage of the Procurement Journey. 

The criteria in the ITT must be agreed with the User Intelligence Group (UIG).  The criteria will identify which of the eligible tenderers will deliver best value for money  based on the Most Economically Advantageous Tender.

You must identify the Most Economically Advantageous Tender on the basis of the Best Price Quality Ratio. This will be assessed on criteria linked to the contract subject matter and must include the price or cost using a cost effectiveness approach.  A cost effectiveness approach may include Life Cycle Impact Mapping.

Further Inclusions for ITT Documentation

You may also wish to consider the areas below for inclusion within the ITT documentation:

  • E-Commerce (Found Below): eCapability ITT section  /  ITT - Appendix X - eProcurement Information / E Auctions 
  • contract implementation/contract and supplier management information
  • proposed implementation plan
  • management information
  • roles & responsibilities
  • key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • mini-competition guidance: details of process to be followed for call offs

Buyers can ask for the most updated list of organisations for each of the worksheets on Appendix X.


Invitation to Tender

  • For contracts which may be extended (i.e. that are not retendered), the nature, quantity and, where possible, the estimated time for exercising options
  • The nature, quantity and, where possible, estimated publication dates of notices of future tenders
  • The type of procedure e.g. a Restricted Procedure or Competitive Procedure with Negotiation procedure, etc.
  • If applicable to the contract, the delivery of supplies, commencement or termination date(s)
  • The address of the Organisation who will award the contract
  • Economic and technical conditions, financial guarantees and information required from tenderers
  • The form of the contract to be used e.g. purchase, lease, hire,  hire-purchase, or a combination
  • If electronic access to the relevant Procurement Documents cannot be offered the address and deadline date for requesting procurement documents and the language(s) to be used
  • Background and overview of the tendering and evaluation process including details of presentations and site visits, if applicable
  • Terms and Conditions of contract which will apply to any resulting contract with the principal supplier
  • Specification and technical requirements
  • Sustainable Procurement Duty requirements
  • Cyber Security Requirements (refer to the Guidance Note on Supplier Cyber Security) If using the Cyber Security Procurement Support Tool (CSPST), example wording for ITTs and Contract Notices can be found here
  • Community Benefit requirements (consideration of which is compulsory in contracts valued equal or greater to £4M, although inclusion in all contracts/frameworks recommended)

The activities at this stage must be carried out in a carefully managed manner that support the Principles of Procurement. As a minimum, the processes must be carried out in a transparent way that ensures  no distortion of the market.  The outcome cannot be a procurement that unduly favours or disadvantages a particular supplier. It is the responsibility of you and your Organisation to make sure these requirements are met.